Bashir in Egypt

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.


About David Bosco

Assistant Professor at American University's School of International Service. Contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine. Author of Rough Justice: The International Criminal Court in a World of Power Politics and Five to Rule Them All: The UN Security Council and the Making of the Modern World
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One Response to Bashir in Egypt

  1. Steve says:

    Is there anything to stop the Security Council from placing countries under an obligation to arrest and transfer ICC indictees to the court? In addition/alternative, is there anything stopping the UNSC from subjecting a head of state to one of its sanctions regimes (not sure if 1591 applies, or if Bashir is listed under 1591)? If he hasn’t been listed under a sanctions committee, does the UNSC’s failure to do so show a shared view among the UNSC that Bashir should not have been indicted? Or is it one or a few states that would block such measures? Curious to hear your thoughts on how the UNSC could put more teeth in an ICC indictment, particularly given it is from an issue referred by the UNSC to the ICC.

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