Foreign Minister: al-Bashir welcome in Rwanda

Louise Mushi-Kiwabo's reportedly dismissed an ICC request for help in arresting al-Bashir as a “distraction”.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Rwanda's Foreign Minister says Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes, is welcome in Rwanda for an African Union (AU) summit which starts this weekend.

Louise Mushi-Kiwabo has reportedly dismissed an ICC request for Rwanda to help arrest al-Bashir as a "distraction".

Last year, South Africa found itself in trouble when the government failed to hand the Sudanese leader over to the ICC when he attended an AU summit in Johannesburg.

In 2016, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed government's appeal of the High Court ruling that the adoption of the Rome Statute legally obligated South Africa to arrest al-Bashir when he visited the country last year.

The SCA found that government's failure to arrest the Sudanese president was unlawful.

It further found that either government, or its counsel, attempted to mislead the High Court as to the whereabouts of al-Bashir, saying either way it was disgraceful conduct.

Government has now approached the Constitutional Court on the matter.

Additional reporting by Barry Bateman