Arusha, July 16, 2013 (FH) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has called on Nigeria to immediately arrest Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir, who is attending an African Union health summit in Abuja . Bashir is wanted by the ICC for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in Darfur . 

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“The Chamber recalled that Nigeria is a State party to the Rome Statute since 2001, and has the obligation to execute the Court’s orders,” says an ICC press release issued today.  The Court also reminded Nigeria that the Sudan situation was referred to the ICC by the UN Security Council. It said that according to the Rome Statute, "where a State Party fails to comply with a request to cooperate by the Court contrary to the provisions of this Statute [...] the Court may make a finding to that effect and refer the matter to the Assembly of States Parties or, where the Security Council referred the matter to the Court, to the Security Council". The ICC has already informed the UN Security Council and the ICC Assembly of States Parties of Bashir’s visits to Djibouti , Chad and Kenya , as well as of the non-cooperation of Malawi and Chad in arresting him. Human rights and civil society groups also expressed outrage at the visit. According to the website of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), the Nigerian CICC has filed a petition to the High Court of Nigeria calling for Bashir’s arrest.  Bashir received a full guard of honour on Sunday when he landed in Abuja for the summit, according to the BBC.  The African Union decided in 2009 that AU members should not implement the ICC arrest warrant for Bashir.