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SALC disappointed SA was spared sanctions in Al Bashir ruling

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre said the ICC's ruling that SA had a duty to arrest the Sudanese fell short because there was no penalty or sanction.

FILE: Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The Southern Africa Litigation Centre is disappointed South Africa was spared sanctions for not complying with its obligations to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

On Thursday, the pre-trial chamber of the ICC found South Africa had a duty to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir when he was in the country.

But the chamber decided against referring the matter to the United Nations Security Council or the Assembly of State Parties.

The saga dates back to 2015 when Omar Al Bashir attended an African Union Summit in South Africa.

He was allowed to slip out of the country, even though authorities were obligated to arrest him because South Africa was a signatory to the ICC's Rome Statute.

The court has rejected South Africa's defence that Al-Bashir had immunity under customary international law.

In a statement, the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, a human rights advocacy group, said the ICC's ruling fell short because there was no penalty or sanction.

The court's view is that referring South Africa's non-compliance would not be an effective way to foster future cooperation.

WATCH: Judge Cuno Tarfusser reads the ICC judgment

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