Bashir travels to AU Summit and ICT Bangladesh issues sentences for 8

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Bashir travels to Rwanda for summit with assurance of no ICC warrant arrest: On Saturday, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir travelled to Rwanda to attend the 27th African Union Summit in Kigali, in defiance of two ICC arrest warrants issued against him. The Sudanese leader was indicted by the ICC in 2009 and 2010 on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for his alleged role in the ongoing Darfur conflict, but has travelled freely within the African continent multiple times since then. Ahead of the Summit, al-Bashir received assurance from Rwandan authorities that he would not be arrested. “Africa doesn’t support criminals, but when justice is involved with a lot of politics we take a pause to separate the two,” Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said last week. The AU Summit was expected to address the tensions currently defining the relationship between the African continent and the ICC, following the allegations by some African leaders that the Court has been unfairly targeting Africa. The Summit was also to discuss the proposal for an en masse withdrawal of African states from the Rome Statute, which has been repeatedly opposed and criticized by countries such as Botwsana, Nigeria, Senegal and Ivory Coast. (News24, The Standard Digital News)

ICT Bangladesh sentences 3 to death; 5 to life: On Monday, a special tribunal in Bangladesh sentenced three militia members to death, and five to life imprisonment, for the killings and other serious crimes they committed 35 years ago. While two of the defendants were present at the verdict hearing, the others were tried in absentia. The special tribunal was set up in 2010 by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to try individuals suspected of having committed war crimes during the country’s independence war from Pakistan. The accused were members of the Al Badr militia group that aided the Pakistani army in committing the 1971 Bangladesh genocide, which led to the death of an estimated 3 million people and the rape of 200,000 Bangladeshi women. (ABC News)

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