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Sudan Tribune

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Sudanese president to skip AU summit in South Africa: report

June 10, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir will delegate his 1st VP Bakri Hassan Saleh to attend the African Union (AU) summit in South Africa.

Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir greets his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma (L), at the presidential palace in Khartoum 1 February 2015 (Photo: Reuters/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir greets his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma (L), at the presidential palace in Khartoum 1 February 2015 (Photo: Reuters/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
The anonymous AU source who made this revelation to Turkey-based al-Anadolu agency did not give a specific reason for the expected absence of Bashir.

This week a Sudanese foreign ministry official told Sudan Tribune that Bashir was unlikely to go but that a final decision has not been made.

South Africa has warned several times in the past that it will arrest Bashir should he visit in compliance with an arrest warrant issued for him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on ten counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide he allegedly masterminded in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.

This was despite AU resolutions instructing its members not to cooperate with the ICC in apprehending Bashir.

In August 2009 the South African Department of Foreign Affairs issued a detailed statement outlining its position on the AU resolution regarding Bashir from a legal and political perspective.

“An international arrest warrant for President El Bashir has been received and endorsed by a magistrate. This means that if President El Bashir arrives on South African territory, he will be liable for arrest” the statement said.

Bashir has not visited South Africa since the issuance of the arrest warrant but in May 2009 he asserted in an interview with the BBC ‘Hardtalk’ program that he could visit if he wanted to.

(ST)