Home | News    Thursday 3 September 2015

Bashir’s plane forced to make emergency landing in Pakistan en route to China: reports


September 2, 2015 (WASHINGTON) – The plane which carried Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir to China this week was forced to make an emergency landing in northwest Pakistan according to newspaper reports.

A Chinese honor guard waits as a plane carrying Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Pakistani newspapers said that the plane’s fuel levels reached critically low levels forcing it to land in Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore.

It is not clear why the unexpected shortage occurred for a trip that had to be planned beforehand.

The Governor of Punjab province Rafiq Rajwana and Lahore’s District Coordination officer (DCO) Muhammad Usman went to the airport to greet Bashir before he left after the refueling stop.

Stringent security arrangements were made during the plane’s stop at Lahore airport, Pakistani media reported.

Sudan Tribune could not confirm speculations that the situation came about because one or more countries denied air passage to the plane. Sudanese state media made no mention of the stop.

Bashir was subject to an embarrassing situation in June 2011 on his way to China for a state visit when Turkmenistan and Tajikistan refused to grant permission to his plane. As a result, he was forced to return to Tehran where he was attending a summit there in order to decide on a new route to reach Beijing.

Last April, government sources told Sudan Tribune that Bashir was forced to cancel a trip to Indonesia at the last minute after several countries refused to grant passage to his plane. The names of these nations and reasons behind their decision were not disclosed.

Also in August 2013, Saudi Arabia blocked his flight to Iran citing failure to obtain prior clearance.

Bashir’s trips are generally carefully planned in light of him being wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.


In Beijing, the Sudanese president pledged to protect Chinese companies and investments in Sudan and to undertake all necessary measures to ensure their success.

Bashir witnessed on Wednesday in Beijing the signing of several agreements and memorandums of understanding between Chinese and Sudanese companies, describing the establishment of the strategic partnership between Sudan and China as a “great leap forward in relations between the two countries”.

“China is the largest investor in Sudan and it is a true friend and partner who seeks to secure the mutual benefits without imposing conditions that could negatively impact on the interests of the African [countries]”, he added.

The Sudanese president added that ties between his country and China have been growing in various political, social, trade, cultural and military areas since 65 years ago, describing relations between the two countries as an excellent and successful example for cooperation among nations.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese president told the Chinese Central Television (CCTV) that national dialogue conference would convene on October 10th and continues for three month at the latest.

He reiterated that dialogue is open for all political forces without pre-conditions, stressing his government’s commitment to offering the necessary guarantees for the rebel groups and political opposition abroad to take part in the national dialogue conference inside Sudan.

Bashir further said that his country plays important role alongside the African Union (AU) and the neighbouring countries in resolving the ongoing crisis in South Sudan.

Sudan’s president and his accompanying delegation including ministers of foreign affairs, oil and transport among others arrived in China on Monday to participate in celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Despite the ICC warrant and criticisms of the visit by the United States, Chinese president Xi Jinping described Bashir as an "old friend".

The spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Hula Chunying told reporters that people were “over thinking” the issue of Bashir attendance at the commemoration of world war II event where war crimes were committed

"The people of Africa, including Sudan, made an important contribution in the victory in the World Anti-Fascist War. China’s invite to President Bashir to the commemoration activities is reasonable and fair. While he is in China we will give him the treatment he should get," Chunying told reporters.

“As China is not a member of the ICC, relevant issues will be handled "on the basis of the basic principles of international law," she added.

China is not an ICC member and had made it clear in the past that it does not approve of the warrant even though it chose not to veto the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) 2005 resolution empowering the Hague-based court to investigate crimes in Sudan’s western region.

China’s non-veto on that resolution has angered Sudanese officials who expressed shock that despite their close relationship with Beijing, the latter did not stand up at the UNSC to defend Khartoum at that instance.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 3 September 2015 08:46, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Let him crush to stop his being wanted by ICC.

  • 3 September 2015 11:45, by Kalo

    Criminal alBashir was trying to make himself brave man but in the same time is bringing shame to the world eg, S.Africa,Nigeria Saudi Arabia,Turkestan and Pakistan, My God!! as i said before,it is just matter of time either crash and die or arrest by country respected the blood of Sudanese people lost their lives.Son of Nuba.

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