Sudan’s President Bashir, reveling in his electoral triumph, visits Egypt and is greeted by President Hosni Mubarak. Egypt is not a state party to the International Criminal Court.
The visit was widely seen as a symbolic gesture, a meeting of long-time allies. Both men have been in office more than 20 years. Perhaps more to the point, Egypt is one country where the Sudanese president remains welcome. Cairo never signed onto the International Court and is under no obligation to arrest Mr. Bashir. The government has justified its continued close ties with the man accused of orchestrating alleged war crimes in Darfur on the basis of territorial integrity and stability in its southern neighbor, which it helped rule until the 1950’s.
This visit notwithstanding, circumscribed travel is, at the moment, one of the most effective ways that an ICC indictment can sting sitting heads of state.