Rwanda has dismissed a request by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to arrest Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir if he attends the African Union Summit being held in the capital,Kigali, this weekend.
Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said the request – made in a letter two days ago – was a “distraction”.
Earlier this week, the Hague based court reported Djibouti and Uganda to the United Nations Security Council for failing to arrest President Bashir when he traveled to the countries.
South Africa’s courts ruled that President Jacob Zuma’s government breached its international obligations by ignoring an ICC request to arrest Mr Bashir when he attended an AU summit in Johannesburg last year.
AU leaders will once again discuss the thorny issue of their relationship with the ICC at the Kigali summit.
Many African leaders accuse the ICC of being racially biased by failing to arrest warrants for other world leaders accused of war crimes.
The ICC says it is trying to achieve justice for victims of conflict in Africa.
It wants to try Mr Bashir on charges of genocide and war crimes related to the conflict in Darfur.