Bashir, Zuma to attend Uhuru inauguration

Nairobi, Kenya: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his South Africa’s counterpart Jacob Zuma are expected to attend the inauguration ceremony of President-electUhuru Kenyatta.

According to Sudan Tribune, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir will fly to Kenya on Monday to participate in Tuesday’s inauguration ceremony.

A newspaper in Sudan, Akbar al-Youm, also said that Bashir will head from there to Chad on Tuesday to attend the Green Belt conference which was rescheduled last month.

Bashir’s planned trip to Kenya comes despite an arrest warrant issued for him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes committed in the Darfur conflict which broke out in 2003.

Hypothetically Kenya, a state party to the Rome statute, has a legal obligation to arrest the Sudanese leader should he set foot in the country.

President Mwai Kibaki however allowed Bashir to attend the promulgation of Kenya’s new constitution in August 2010 drawing wide domestic and international criticism.

This has prompted the Kenyan chapter of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) to move the issue of Kenya’s non-compliance to the local High Court.

South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma is also expected to be present at the swearing in ceremony that will take place at Moi International sports centre, Kasarani in Nairobi.

“President Jacob Zuma will be jetting off to Kenya to attend the inauguration of incoming Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta this week,” South Africa’s SABC reported on Sunday.

South Africa’s Presidential spokesperson, Mac Maharaj says: “President Jacob Zuma will on Tuesday the 9th of April attend the inauguration of the president elect of the Republic of Kenya, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta.  The President elect Kenyatta won Kenya’s presidential elections last month. President Zuma will be going to Kenya only for the purposes of the inauguration and will return immediately.”

The two join other African heads of state who are expected to grace the occasion among them Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Tanzania’s Jakaya Kikwete and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame.

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