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'SA’s global image dented by al-Bashir debacle'

Amnesty International says government’s failure to hand him over is a betrayal of the people killed in Dafur.

FILE: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (R) meets with President Jacob Zuma during an official two-day visit on 31 January 2015 in the capital Khartoum. Picture: AFP/Ashraf Shazly.

JOHANNESBURG - Amnesty International says the South African government's failure to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and hand him over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) is a betrayal of the thousands of people killed in Darfur.

The human rights group released its annual 2015/2016 report yesterday in Johannesburg, which was critical of government.

The group says some countries like South Africa continue to undermine the independence of the ICC, depriving victims of justice.

The organisation's Netsanet Belay says the country's failure to arrest al-Bashir when he attended the AU Summit in Sandton last year was a serious blow.

"The government, in our review, had no legal basis and no justification to not carry out its obligations and it should have done so.

"That's a serious taint on South Africa's image internationally and he needs to do something about that. Now is the time that South Africa should reverse that image."

Al-Bashir is wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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