ICC calls on SA to arrest Omar al-Bashir

Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the ICC for charges of genocide of more than 300,000 deaths in West Sudan.

FILE: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir speaks during a press conference in Khartoum late on September 22, 2013. Picture:AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The International Criminal Court (ICC) has called for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who's been welcomed into South Africa where he's attending the African Union (AU) summit in Sandton today.

The Hague-based tribunal to which South Africa's a signatory says no effort should be spared detaining him.

Al-Bashir is wanted by the ICC to face charges of genocide for more than 300,000 deaths in West Sudan.

This is his first visit to South Africa since the warrant for his arrest was issued.

Previously South Africa discouraged him from entering the country saying it would be obliged to arrest him.

However, the AU has taken a decision against the prosecution of sitting presidents and rallied against the ICC for unfairly targeting Africans.

The civil society has joined opposition parties and the ICC's call to arrest al-Bashir.

Amnesty International's Netsanet Belay says South Africa has a duty to arrest him.

"It has a Constitutional obligation to make sure the fugitive is arrested and failure to do so is a serious bridge of its duty."