By Delia Robertson, Johannesburg 15 July 2009-VOA News
Prominent South African individuals and civil society groups have urged President Jacob Zuma to publicly state that he respects the country’s constitution and treaty obligations. The call follows an African Union decision not to honor the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for Sudan President Omar al-Bashir.
The call on President Zuma comes from 17 of the country’s prominent civil society groups, including the constitutionally mandated Human Rights Commission. Individuals supporting the call include Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu and Richard Goldstone, former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
In a statement, the organizations and individuals said the decision by the African Union to withhold cooperation from the ICC with respect to the warrant for Mr. al-Bashir represents the most serious challenge to the struggle against impunity and lawlessness on the African continent.