The regional bloc Igad meeting that was to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia over the weekend, has been postponed.
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development ministerial and heads of state meeting was initially scheduled for Nairobi, but was shifted over the controversy surrounding the arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Pressure from the international community and the local civil society on Kenya to arrest President Bashir forced Nairobi to surrender the meeting to Addis Ababa, the African Union headquarters.
Ethiopia is not a signatory to the Rome Statute and is therefore not under any obligation to arrest President Bashir, who is wanted by ICC to answer for charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in his country’s Darfur region.
According to diplomatic sources in Addis Ababa, there was opposition to the Addis venue and Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki was being urged to stick to the initial plan of hosting the meeting.
An Ethiopian Government official, who wished not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, told the Africa Reviewthat the Bashir issue did not concern Kenya only, but the entire
AU membership, which has taken a united position not to cooperate with ICC.