By Claire Soares
The Independent, July 22, 2010
"Wanted for genocide, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir should have been arrested as soon as he hit the tarmac in Chad last night; instead he was given the warmest of welcomes and handed the keys to the capital N'djamena. The Sudanese leader thumbed his nose at prosecutors -- who want him to stand trial for atrocities committed in Darfur -- and made his first visit to a member state of the International Criminal Court. With no police force of its own, the court relies on its members to arrest fugitives, but Chadian President, Idriss Deby, seemingly unfazed by the potential damage to his international reputation, went to greet his one-time enemy President Bashir at the airport. 'Chad should not shield President Bashir from international justice,' said Christopher Hall, the senior legal advisor at Amnesty International. 'His visit is an opportunity to enforce the arrest warrant and send a message that justice will prevail.' Elise Keppler, who works for the international justice division of Human Rights Watch, noted that there had been 'almost visits' by Mr. Bashir to Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa and Denmark. 'None of these have materialised. Chad has really broken rank here. Does it really want this special status?' she said. Chad became a full member of the ICC in 2007 but yesterday Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat shrugged off the obligations that came with that membership. 'The priority for us is assuring peace and stability with Sudan,' he told reporters. [...]"