Sudan leader Bashir flies out of South Africa

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes, has left South Africa, pre-empting a court ruling over an international warrant for his arrest.


The Pretoria High Court was due to decide whether he should be handed over to the International Criminal Court which charged him with the crimes.

Mr Bashir was in Johannesburg for an African Union (AU) summit.

A news conference will be held in Sudan’s capital upon his arrival.

On Sunday, a judge barred Mr Bashir from leaving until the arrest application had been considered.

Mr Bashir is accused of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during the Darfur conflict.

The UN says that about 300,000 people in Sudan have died and more than two million have fled their homes since fighting began in 2003.

Government forces and allied Arab militias are accused of targeting black African civilians in the fight against the rebels.

At the hearing at the Pretoria High Court, the lawyer representing the South African government says Mr Bashir’s name was not on the list of passengers who took off earlier.

But the Sudanese state minister for information has told Reuters news agency that Mr Bashir’s plane was expected to land in Khartoum at about 18:30 local time (1530 GMT).

Source: BBC