President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has previously said he would not arrest Omar al-Bashir despite being charged with numerous crimes by the International Criminal Court. Photo by Jason Szenes/EPA-EFE
April 16 (UPI) -- Uganda said Tuesday it would consider giving asylum to deposed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir if he requested it for his role in brokering a peace deal with South Sudan.
"If Omar al-Bashir applies for asylum in Uganda that is a matter that can be considered by the president of Uganda," Uganda's Foreign Affairs Minister Henry Okello Oryem told reporters following a meeting in parliament.
After 30 years of ruling Sudan, al-Bashir was deposed April 11 in a military coup that was instigated by months of peaceful civil protests demanding democracy and an end to corruption.
Following his deposition, al-Bashir was arrested, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said.
However, it is unknown if the former president would be handed over to the International Criminal Court where he faces five counts of crimes against humanity including murder, torture and rape, two counts of war crimes for directing attacks against a civilian population and pillaging, and three counts of genocide, the ICC said.
The charges stem from a protracted armed conflict in Darfur between Sudan and several groups including the Sudanese Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equity Movement that resulted in some 400,000 deaths.
Oryem said Tuesday Uganda would extend al-Bashir asylum if he requested for mediating a peace deal to end a civil war in South Sudan last, the Daily Monitor reported.
"President Omar Bashir was co-guarantor for the peace agreement of South Sudan. He has played a very critical role which we are very grateful [for] and his asylum in Uganda is something we can consider," the minister said.
The Ugandan minister said his country is closely watching the situation in Sudan and hopes for the peaceful transition of power, Uganda's SoftPower News reported.
"What is important to Uganda is a resolution of the transition period in Sudan, which is peaceful to the people of Sudan and the neighbors and we hope that Sudan will continue being intact as one country and not fall apart," he said.
Following ICC charges laid against al-Bashir, several African countries have hosted the former Sudanese leader, including Uganda, despite requests for his arrest.
If Uganda hosted al-Bashir, it would go against the Rome Statute of the ICC, which it signed in March 1999 and ratified in June 2002 a.
Asked in 2015 if he would order al-Bashir's arrest al-Bashir if he'd even enter Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni said, "those are not the way of Africans. I cannot arrest a person I have invited."