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Sudan expels Kenyan ambassador over Kenyan ruling to arrest al-Bashir

By David McKenzie, CNN
updated 8:34 PM EST, Mon November 28, 2011
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague for alleged war crimes in Darfur.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague for alleged war crimes in Darfur.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Expulsion is a reaction to the Kenyan court decision to arrest Sudan's president
  • Al-Bashir visited Kenya last year
  • He is wanted by the International Criminal Court
  • Court rules international agreements trump AU policies

Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) -- The government of Sudan on Monday ordered Kenya's ambassador to leave the country, after the Kenyan High Court ruled that Sudan's president must be arrested if he sets foot on Kenyan soil.

Sudan's Minister of Foreign Affairs gave Kenyan Ambassador Robert Mutua Ngesu 72 hours to leave the country, according to state media. The expulsion was a direct reaction to the court ruling, the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported.

The Sudanese foreign ministry also summoned its ambassador to Kenya back to Khartoum, SUNA reported.

President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, is wanted by the International Criminal Court at the Hague in relation to alleged crimes in Darfur.

The Kenyan High Court ruling was the result of a case that the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) brought against Kenya's attorney general and internal security minster in 2010.

"The courts have said that Kenya has an obligation to arrest Bashir if he is to come to country, if there was doubt as to the legal position, that has been clarified," says George Kegoro, the executive director of the ICJ.

Al-Bashir visited Kenya last year to attend the ceremony for a new constitution. At the time Kenyan officials said that Kenya was beholden to African Union decisions on arresting the Sudanese president.

According to the ICJ, the court said local laws and international agreements such as the Rome Statue that Kenya has signed supersede African Union policies.

"We are satisfied with the ruling and we hope that it clarifies the legal and political situation in Kenyans relationship with Sudan," said Kegoro.

The High Court and Justice Ministry did not respond to queries from CNN.

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