Malawi President Joyce Banda has assured British government that Malawi’s security apparatus will waste no time in arresting Africa’s most wanted Sudanese leader Omar Al Bashir if he dares to touch down on Malawi soil for the African Union (AU) summit slated for July next month
President Banda issued the stern warning when he met British Secretary for International Development Andrew Mitchell in Lilongwe.
Mitchell has since described Banda’s firm position on al Bashir as logical and that the United Kingdom solidly supports her.
“It’s a matter for Malawi, of course, to decide on these issues…Malawi is a state party to the International Criminal Court (ICC); therefore, the president is being entirely logical and making it clear that if al-Bashir comes to Malawi he will be arrested. [In our discussions], she made that point absolutely clear,” Mitchell told The Nation newspaper’s Monday edition.
Meanwhile, Banda’s tough stance on al-Bashir would likely put her in an awkward position with fellow African leaders a majority of whom have shown unwavering support for the wanted warlord, except for a few independent minded leaders like Botswana’s Ian Khama.
Meanwhile, some local experts have backed the president for the position she has taken saying the country would benefit nothing from al-Bashir visit apart from pride which they say is costly for Malawi.
Al-Bashir was indicted by the ICC some five years ago for alleged genocide in Darfur region as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity.
But the Sudanese government has remained defiant and recently bashed Malawi for its anti-al-Bashir stance saying, “Malawi has no right to dictate who attends the AU summit.”