Despite the accusations faced by the South African President, Jacob Zuma on handling the exit of the Sudanese president Omar-al-Bashir, a statement has been released by the Presidency confirming that the two leaders, Zuma and Bashir have met in an effort to strengthen the friendship between South Africa and Sudan.
Bashir, who is accused of killing many people in Darfur, a region in Sudan, was allowed to fly home after an African Union Summit held in Sandton in South Africa, in defiance of a local court ruling ordering his detention under a warrant from the International Criminal Court.This created a huge furore with many African leaders supporting the stance, or lack thereof taken by South Africa. Many African leaders are dead set against the Hague-based International Criminal Court, which they accuse of harassing African leaders.The South African government has even hinted at pulling out from the International Criminal Court, to which they are a signatory. Leaders like Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the Zimbabwean nonagenarian leader have insisted that African leaders do not need to be within the ICC.
Bashir’s exit led to the DA’s bid to impeach Zuma, which was not successful since it was not supported by the African National Congress and other opposition political parties like the Economic freedom Fighters (EFF) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM). “Mr President, on al-Bashir I am happy you did not arrest him. We were not going to agree on the arrest of an African leader in South Africa, to polarise Africa and make South Africa the enemy of the whole of Africa,” said Julius Malema of the EFF, who praised the President for protecting Bashir. Also Bantu Holomisa of the UDM ridiculed the motion of Zuma’s impeachment.
The discussion between President Zuma and President Omar-al-Bashir took place in Beijing, The People’s Republic of China. “South Africa and Sudan enjoy warm bilateral relations. Sixteen bilateral agreements have been concluded between the two countries to date,” presidential spokesperson Bongani Majola said in a statement.