Johannesburg: The Muslim Lawyers` Association in South Africa has called for the arrest of US President Barack Obama on war crime and genocide charges when he visits the country from Friday.
The Association has called for Obama`s arrest because they believe he has ordered the deaths of numerous suspects overseas, citing this as "reason enough for him to be investigated, charged, arrested, and tried in a South African court for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide".
It is one of fifteen civil society organisations that have banded together as the `NO-Bama Coalition` to object to his first visit to the country as President.
The organisations include various trades unions and student`s associations as well ruling African National Congress tripartite alliance partners - the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions.
The South African government is undeterred by the planned protests, saying that it might even be good for the country because allowing the protests would show the level of freedom of expression in South Africa.
"(The protests) might have a positive effect. It is a tangible demonstration of the healthy democracy we enjoy," Clayson Monyela, spokesman for the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation told the media.
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, national co-ordinator of the NO-Bama Coalition said, "The USA under Obama`s leadership has escalated its assault on human rights, militarisation of international relations and continuing guzzling of world resources at the expense of the environment and oppressed peoples of the world".
Other reasons cited by the coalition included allegations of active support and defence of colonial and oppressive regimes by the US and its alleged role in maintaining the underdevelopment of the African continent.
A National Day of Action against Obama`s visit will see a march on June 28, when he is due to arrive.
A demonstration against the University of Johannesburg awarding an honorary doctorate to Obama will take place on Saturday in Soweto.