South Africa says they are mindful of their commitment to arrest Putin
The President of the Russian Federation, whose arrest warrant was issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, will visit South Africa in August 2023 to attend the BRICS summit.
Press Secretary of the President of the Republic of South Africa Vincent Magvenia commented on the possible arrest of Russian President Putin during his visit to the BRICS summit in this country. He said the South African government was “mindful of its legal obligations” related to the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The statement of the representative of the President of South Africa is quoted by Reuters.
“We as a government are aware of our legal obligations. However, until the [BRICS] summit, we will continue to engage with various relevant stakeholders,” Magvenia said.
The presidential spokesman also said that South Africa was “accepting the notice of the arrest warrant issued by the MKS,” adding that his government expresses an underlined desire that “the conflict in Ukraine be resolved peacefully through negotiations.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin previously confirmed his participation in August 2023 in the BRICS summit with the participation of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Because South Africa has ratified the ISS Rome Statute, it has a legal obligation to enforce Putin's arrest warrant.
However, in this situation, the story of another dictator, the leader of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, the warrant for which the ISS issued in 2009, may repeat itself. Like Russia, Sudan also did not ratify the Rome Charter, so al-Bashir was not overly concerned.
During his visit to South Africa for the 2015 African Union summit, a local court ruled that the Sudanese leader was barred from leaving the country until a decision was made to satisfy the ISS warrant. When the court session began, al-Bashir simply did not come to it. It turned out that the dictator, after participating in the summit, flew home and no one stopped him.
It was possible to arrest the dictator of Sudan only after the coup in this country in 2019, but he did not get to The Hague, because first the national justice should pass his sentence on the 79-year-old ex-president of the country.
Recall, on March 17, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Children's Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for committing a war crime – the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children.