LILONGWE--Malawi civil society organisations (CSOs) have commended the Banda Administration for putting its foot down against hosting the African Union summit next month following AU's insistence that Malawi must accept the attendance of Sudanese President, Omar Al-Bashir, wanted by International Criminal Court on war crimes committed in Darfur.
In a statement, the CSO's called on all African countries not to protect and give immunity to alleged or suspected criminals.
"We urge the African Union to take a bold step to condemn and isolate Omar Al Bashir rather than being seen as a supporter of impunity," the SCOs said.
They applauded Zambia, South Africa, and Botswana who have made it clear that the Sudanese leader wasn’t welcome in their territories.
"It is also worth noting that the space is closing up on President Omar Al Bashir in Africa and sooner or later the long arm of justice will take its rightful course.”
They asked State Parties that are “treating Omar Al Bashir with kids’ gloves to rise to reality and defend humanity without fear or favour.
"For African countries that are able to host or allow him to visit must realize that they are indirectly contributing towards sustained war against humanity in Darfur as Al Bashir believes he has the support of some Heads of States.
“We urge the government of Malawi and civil society groups not to boycott against AU
insistence to invite Al Bashir but rather to go to Ethiopia and fully participate.”
Last week Malawi cancelled the AU summit, saying it couldn’t host Bashir as that would strain relations with donors. Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world, is heavily dependent on foreign aid.
The United States has warned countries that receive its aid they risked losing it if they refused to arrest Bashir once in their country. Malawi wants a $350 million compact with the United States for the energy sector, suspended when the late Bingu wa Mutharika was in power, revived.
----©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.