Govt steadfast in position over arresting presidents

SHARE   |   Sunday, 13 July 2014   |   By Staff Writer

The government has said that is not bound by a law that proscribes against the charging of a serving head of state. This statement, issued by the government spokesman, Dr Jeff Ramsay, comes against the background of an on-going political hot potato over the arrest warrant of Sudanese president Al Bashir by the International Criminal Court.

A lot of African countries was against the arrest warrant against a sitting president. The government has said that it, “ wishes to put into perspective the recent media reports on the outcome of the just-ended 23rd African Union Summit held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea from 26th to 27th June 2014, regarding the approval of the amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human rights, “No charges shall be commenced or continued before the Court against any serving African Union Head of State or Government, or anybody ac ting or entitled to act in such capacity, or other senior state officials based on their functions, during their tenure of office .

” The statement further states that the government views the scope of application of the Summit decision as limited only to the African Court of Justice and Human Rights as proposed by the State Parties to the Protocol. “In other words, the provisions of the Statute and any amendments thereto are binding only to States Parties to the Statute establishing the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, to which Botswana is not a state party,”. It is against this background, reads the statement, that irrespective of the fact that Botswana was indeed present at the AU Summit, “the Government of Botswana does not consider itself bound by the Statute of the Court. In any event, the Summit decision in question runs contrary to Botswana’s position on human rights as well as the principles of human rights as enshrined in the African Union’s own instruments, and other international legal instruments to towards the promotion of human rights,”.

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