The Ethiopian government
opposes the issuance of an arrest warrant for Sudan’s president by the
International Criminal Court, said a government spokesman. Earlier today, the court announced they would
try to arrest President Omar Hussein al-Bashir for crimes committed in Sudan.
court issued an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir for the commission of war
crimes and crimes against humanity, but ruled that there was insufficient
evidence to prosecute him for genocide.
President Isaias Afewerki
told a Sudanese envoy two days ago that his government would also refuse to
support any effort to arrest Sudan’s head of state. Eritrea’s ministry of information issued this
statement on a government web site on March 2.
Ministry officials did not respond to a VOA request for an interview
A former Ethiopian dissident
takes another view. Lencho Lata, a
former Oromo Liberation Front deputy secretary general who spent more than 10
years living in Sudan when he was active in Ethiopia’s rebel movement, told the
Afan Oromo service’s Nigusu that it is a necessary step for justice. He spoke from Sweden, where he now
lives. “It is good news that leaders who
order bloodshed in their own countries can be brought to justice.” However, he added, “It is a shame for African
leaders to be unable to resolve their problems within the region.”
Ethiopia’s State Minister of
Government Communications Affairs Ermyas Legesse told VOA’s Solomon Abate that
the warrant “obstructs the peace process, especially in Darfur.” He said, “…this decision undermines the peace
process in the region…We believe that
it will have a negative impact. We do
not endorse this decision.”
Ermyas indicated the
Ethiopian position has also been the position of the African Union and the Arab
League.“Our government’s stand is that
it will get in the way of the peace process.” He said that his government will
endorse the statement being released today by the African Union.
For more reaction and
analysis from the Horn of Africa and from around the world, listen to today’s
broadcasts in Afan Oromo, Amharic and Tigrigna.