Malawi moves to block visit by Sudanís wanted Bashir
Malawi President Joyce Banda said on Friday she had asked the African Union to prevent Sudan’s wanted leader ,Omar Hassan al-Bashir, from attending a summit in her country, saying his visit would have “implications” for the economy.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for Sudan’s President Bashir to face charges of masterminding genocide and other war crimes during his nation’s Darfur conflict.
Malawi angered international donors when it played host to Bashir last year - ICC members countries like Malawi are supposed to arrest people wanted by the global court.
Banda, who became president last month with promises to restore relations with donors, said on Friday she had asked the African Union not to invite Bashir to the African heads of state summit in her country in July.
“I have written them because of the economic implications this may have on Malawi,” she told a news conference.
“Let the AU decide on his position. He (Bashir) should forgive us this time as we are struggling to fix the economy.”
She did not go into details of what economic implications Bashir’s visit would have on her impoverished southern African nation.
But Banda has in the past promised to restore a flow of overseas aid cut under the rule of her predecessor Bingu wa Mutharika. That cut left a gaping hole in a budget that relies on overseas assistance for about 40 percent of its funds.