The African Union (AU) on 1 July called on its members to disregard the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, Libya’s ruler currently embroiled in a civil war.

The ICC issued the warrant on 27 July for human rights abuses by Qaddafi, whose stronghold around the capital Tripoli is subject to an air campaign by an allied coalition. while months of fighting between government and rebel troops remains inconclusive.

The AU says that the ICC move complicated efforts to find a political solution to the conflict.

The union also believes the warrant is biased against African countries, and that Western military has committed war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, which has gone unpunished.

“With this in mind, we recommend that the member states do not co-operate with the execution of this arrest warrant,” said a motion decided on by the union on Friday.

If Qaddafi seeks refuge in an AU member state, it could prevent him from standing trial at the ICC.