On 3 July 2009, the AU resolved not to cooperate with the ICC regarding the indictment of the Sudanese president, Omar Bashir. Below is an abridged version of the AU statement.
THE ASSEMBLY: TAKES NOTE of the recommendations of the Executive Council on the Meeting of the African States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
EXPRESSES ITS DEEP CONCERN at the indictment issued by the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC against President Omar Hassan El Bashir of the Republic of Sudan.
NOTES WITH GRAVE CONCERN the unfortunate consequences that the indictment has had on the delicate peace processes underway in The Sudan and the fact that it continues to undermine the ongoing efforts aimed at facilitating the early resolution of the conflict in Darfur.
REITERATES the unflinching commitment of member states to combating impunity and promoting democracy, rule of law and good governance throughout the continent, in conformity with the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
FURTHER TAKES NOTE that any party affected by the indictment has the right of legal recourse to the processes provided for in the Rome Statute regarding the appeal process and the issue of impunity.
DEEPLY REGRETS that the request by the African Union to the UN Security Council to defer the proceedings initiated against President Bashir of The Sudan in accordance with Article 16 of the Rome Statute of the ICC, has neither been heard nor acted upon, and in this regard, reiterates its request to the UN Security Council.
DECIDES that in view of the fact that the request by the African Union has never been acted upon, the AU member states shall not cooperate pursuant to the provisions of Article 98 of the Rome Statute of the ICC relating to immunities, for the arrest and surrender of President Omar El Bashir of The Sudan* (*Reservation entered by Chad).
EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER the conduct of the ICC prosecutor and further decides that the preparatory meeting of African States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC scheduled for late 2009 should prepare, inter alia, guidelines and a code of conduct for exercise of discretionary powers by the ICC prosecutor relating particularly to the powers of the prosecutor to initiate cases at his own discretion under Article 15 of the Rome Statute.
UNDERSCORES that the African Union and its member states reserve the right to take any further decisions or measures that may be deemed necessary in order to preserve and safeguard the dignity, sovereignty and integrity of the continent.