October 4, 2016
H.E. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
The Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Washington
3521 International Ct. NW
Washington, DC 20008
BashirWatch Coalition Letter to the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Re: Omar al-Bashir’s travel to the Arab Republic of Egypt
The BashirWatch Coalition, a group of human rights organizations dedicated to accountability in Sudan, writes to express its grave concern that the Egyptian government has invited Omar al-Bashir to visit Egypt tomorrow to co-chair a bilateral committee meeting on developments related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. This invitation comes in spite of his record of human rights abuses.
President al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. He is perpetrating the ongoing atrocities in Darfur, where hundreds of thousands have died since 2003 and millions remain displaced. The last two years have seen the highest levels of violence and displacement since the height of the genocide more than a decade ago. In the first few weeks of 2016 alone, over 100,000 people have been newly displaced by an escalation of violence by the Sudanese government including largescale attacks on civilians.
The crimes in Darfur continue to rage, and violence has spread into other areas of Sudan, including South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Just last week, on September 29, 2016, Amnesty International reported evidence of chemical weapons being used by the government against its own citizens, with over 30 chemical attacks in Jebel Marra alone since January 2016. Bashir has continuously blocked humanitarian aid from reaching those in need, and many people are at risk of starvation. Bashir has carried out his reign of terror with impunity for more than thirteen years, and bringing justice to his victims is long overdue.
Although Egypt is not a State Party to the Rome Statute, non-member states are encouraged to bring international fugitives to justice. The situation in Darfur was referred to the Court by the United Nations Security Council through UNSC Resolution 1593 (2005), which urges all members of the United Nations (UN) to fully cooperate with the Court. As a member of the UN, Egypt falls within this exhortation and should act to bring Bashir to justice.
The Coalition notes that Egypt has experienced its own struggles against and triumphs over leaders who attacked their own populations. Therefore, it is imperative that the Government of Egypt now signal its support for democracy in a meaningful way by refusing to allow an individual charged with war crimes into its territory. If Bashir does enter Egypt, this Coalition calls on the Egyptian authorities to arrest him and transfer him to the ICC so that he can face the charges against him in a fair trial.
The Coalition of the International Criminal Court, NY, USA
The International Justice Project, NJ, USA
Darfur Women Action Group, DC, USA
United to End Genocide, DC, USA
Waging Peace, London, UK