Commenting the visit of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to Nigeria to the Channels Television today, a Senior Counsel with Human Rights Watch, Elise Keppler, stated that “Nigeria is sending a terrible signal to victims in Darfur by hosting him in a conference.”
According to Ms Keppler, the fact that Nigeria became the first country in West African to host Al-Bashir, means Nigeria is failing to demonstrate leadership in the continent:
“Some African states have showed leadership in a way that Nigeria has not done by avoiding visits by Al-Bashir. Nigeria should have taken that step,” she stated.
Ms Keppler refuted the claims that ICC has been biased in its activating and is mainly targeting African leaders:
“In seven out of eight situations that are currently being investigated, either the state where the crimes were committed asked the ICC to come and be involved or the UN Security Council has requested involvement” she explained.
It will be reminded that Al-Bashir arrived to Nigeria to attend an African Union summit on HIV/AIDS. The International Criminal Court (ICC) - of which Nigeria is a member - issued two warrants against Al-Baship in 2009 and 2010 for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Sudan's Darfur region.