By Netsanet Belay, Africa Director, Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International. Follow Netsanet on Twitter @NetsanetDBelay
As the International Criminal Court (ICC) opens its Assembly of States Parties – the periodic gathering of all the countries who have ratified the Court’s statute – in The Hague today, it does so with a bloody nose.
The Court was yet again met with contempt this month by South Africa’s failure to cooperate with its arrest warrants for one of its longest running fugitives, President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan.
On 15 June, South Africa’s government failed to obey an order from its own high court to prevent al-Bashir from leaving the country. The order had been made while the court decided whether to compel the government to fulfil its international and constitutional obligations to uphold two ICC warrants for the arrest of Sudanese President al-Bashir. The Sudanese leader, who was visiting Johannesburg for an African Union Summit, faces seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as three counts of genocide in Darfur.