South Sudan and Uganda won’t support warrant deferral if CPA is not implemented

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni (L) and leader of South Sudan, Salva Kiir wave to residents of South Sudan soon after Museveni arrives in Juba on April 14, 2008. Museveni urged LRA rebel leader Joseph Kony to take a peace deal mediated by South Sudan government seriously after Kony failed to show up to a peace agreement signing ceremony at Rigkwamba, near the Sudan-Congo border on April 10. (AFP/Getty Images)

Kampala - South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Ugandan President Museveni held a news conference Thursday in Kampala to outline their stand on last week’s ICC indictment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir over war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"For the (UN) Security Council to call for the deferment of the indictment, it will have to be tied to the performance of the peace process in southern Sudan and Darfur," Museveni said in a joint press conference between him and South Sudan President Salva Kiir.

"It would be reasonable to say: 'OK, defer the execution of the warrants as we perform to implement the benchmarks of different agreements'."

Last Wednesday, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir became the first sitting head of state the Hague based court has ever issued an arrest warrant for.

The African Union and Arab league have expressed their intention to have the warrant postponed in the interest of maintaining stability in the country, they said.

At the press conference President  Kiir agreed with Museveni there were no better options in dealing with the case. He brushed off a reporter's question on whether South Sudan can arrest Bashir if he visits there.

"It is not my responsibility to hand him over. I am not the police of the ICC to arrest him and send him to The Hague," he said.

Asked on the same issue, Museveni said there were many complications attached to arresting a sitting head of state.

"I don't want to condemn Bashir, nor do I want to condone his actions," he added.

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