George W Bush expected to arrive today

Amnesty calls for his arrest

Former US president George W. Bush is expected to arrive today to take part in the 16th ICASA conference.

“The trip demonstrates President and Mrs. Bush’s continued commitment to the people of Africa through the work of the George W. Bush Institute’s (GWBI) Global Health program.

The trip will also highlight the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon initiative, an innovative partnership between GWBI, the U.S. Department of State President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and other private partners,” according to a statement from the Bush Center.

 

The Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon initiative leverages public and private investments and existing health infrastructures to combat two of the leading causes of cancer death among women in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America – cervical and breast cancer.

“In Africa, President and Mrs. Bush will emphasize the importance of the continued fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases and will celebrate the remarkable progress made over the past decade to address the challenges of disease, poverty and security.  In addition, their visit will spotlight new approaches to prevent cancer in women through a major announcement by Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partners,” the statement further reads.

Meanwhile Amnesty International on Thursday urged Ethiopia to arrest former US president George W. Bush, during his tour that started on December 1, for violating international torture laws. Bush is expected to arrive in Ethiopia today December 4, in the final leg of his tour of three African Nations – Tanzania and Zambia included where he has been  promoting efforts to fight cervical and breast cancer in Africa.  “All countries to which George W. Bush travels have an obligation to bring him to justice for his role in torture,” Amnesty said in a statement. “International law requires that there should be no safe haven for those responsible for torture; Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia must seize this opportunity to fulfill their obligations and end the impunity George W. Bush has so far enjoyed.”

In mounting pressure from human rights groups asking for the former US president to be arrested, in February 2011 he reportedly cancelled a visit to Switzerland.  Human rights groups in the country have been calling for the Swiss government to arrest him over allegations he ordered the torture of prisoners. Court officials have said criminal complaints against Bush have been lodged in Geneva but Swiss officials said he would enjoy some diplomatic immunity as a former head of state.

Bush and his former counterpart Tony Blair were also found guilty of war crimes by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal which held a four day hearing in Malaysia in November 2011. The five panel tribunal unanimously decided that Bush and Blair committed genocide and crimes against peace and humanity when they invaded Iraq in 2003 in what they said was blatant violation of international law. Amnesty had made a similar appeal to Canada in October 2011 when Bush visited British Columbia for an economic summit.