'African leaders supporting ICC are puppets of Western imperialism'
Sudan Vice President Osman Yousuf Kiber has taken a swipe at some African leaders for turning themselves into puppets of the western imperialism by supporting the prosecution of the Sudanese leaders by ICC.
Giving a keynote address during a state banquet hosted for delegates of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) in the capital city Khartoum, Kiber said Sudan has been leading in conflict resolution within the region. "It is the agenda of the imperialists to have our leaders prosecuted for war crimes which we never committed and shockingly some of our African leaders blindly support the move," he hit out.
Former President Ian Khama was the lone voice in Africa who supported the ICC warrant arrest for Sudanese President Umar Al Bashiri. Khama dissented from AU position on the warrant of arrest issues by ICC for Al Bashir after the Hague based court accused him of masterminding a campaign to exterminate African tribes in Sudan's western region of Darfur. AU along with with Arab and Islamic countries criticized the arrest and called on the UN Security Council to halt the indictment.
In 2015 Khama boycotted an AU Summit in South Africa because he could not share a podium with a despot and instead sent the then Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi, the main excuse being that Al Bashir will be in attendance. After the summit, Office of the President released a statement condemning South African government for not arresting the Sudanese President. "We therefore find it disappointing that President Al Bashir avoided arrest when he cut short his visit and fled, in fear of arrest, to his country," read the statement in 2015.
Sudanese VP informed the FAJ and International Federation of Journalists delegates that they have done a lot in helping countries within their troubled region to have peace and stability. "We played a pivotal role in conflict resolution in Sudan and we are continuing to encourage dialogue between the warring parties," he revealed.
Kiber said this has been demonstrated by the permanently lifting of a raft of sanctions against Khartoum by United States of America last year. The decision to lift the sanctions and end an economic embargo comes after the US government removed Sudan from the list of countries whose citizens are subject to travel restrictions and it was the only country that was removed. Though he did not mention names, Sudanese VP said that some of the African leaders who are accusing Al Bashir of crimes against humanity are the worst perpetrators. "They trample upon the rights of journalists, jail them and worst still kill them," he hit out, adding that Sudan uphold freedom of the press. To drive the point home, Kiber said his government does not own nor control any newspaper in Sudan.