GENEVA - The UN’s top human rights official criticized China yesterday for failing to arrest Sudan’s president so that he can be brought to trial on war crimes charges.
Navi Pillay, the high commissioner for human rights, said she was disappointed that China welcomed Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, during a visit this week, rather than arrest him to ensure he stands trial.
Pillay said “the whole world favors trial’’ for Bashir on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and three counts of genocide, the first time the world’s permanent war crimes tribunal issued genocide charges.
China has a duty to enforce warrants by the International Criminal Court, she said, despite the fact that it is not a member of the tribunal, which is based at The Hague. The Sudanese leader defiantly rejects the charges and the authority of the court.
China’s mission to the United Nations in Geneva did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
China may be Sudan’s biggest trading partner and international protector, but on atrocities in the Darfur region, the Chinese have subtly tried to push Sudan, particularly to accept a large UN peacekeeping force.