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AU summit moved to Addis Ababa over Bashir row

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Denzel Musumba

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Next month’s African Union summit has been moved to Ethiopia after scheduled hosts Malawi refused to welcome Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, a war crimes suspect, an AU official said Monday.“The summit was supposed to be held in Malawi but now it has been changed. It will be held in headquarters in Addis Ababa,” the chairman of the AU’s permanent representatives committee, Ferdinand Montcho, told reporters.Malawi on Friday cancelled its hosting of next month’s summit after a row over the pan-African bloc’s insistence on inviting Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The summit’s scheduled July 9-16 dates are unchanged.Montcho accused the ICC of interfering in African affairs.“This matter of ICC for me it is nonsense, every time we want to have a summit they start disturbing us,” he said. “Why should they not let us hold our meeting (without) this cinema, this theatre, this play?”“This matter of ICC for me it is nonsense, every time we want to have a summit they start disturbing us,” he said. “Why should they not let us hold our meeting (without) this cinema, this theatre, this play?”Malawi recognises the Hague-based ICC, which has a warrant of arrest for Bashir on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the troubled Darfur region.Malawi’s new president, Joyce Banda, said last month she wanted the Sudanese leader to stay out of the country in order to maintain ties with donor countries.Under current ICC rules, signatories — which include Malawi and 32 other African states — have a duty to arrest Bashir....Click here

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