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Bashir Back in Sudan

Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir who faces arrest on international charges of crimes against humanity and genocide was allowed to fly out of South Africa.
15 Jun 2015 19:12
Sudanese President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir by European Press Photo Agency
Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir who faces arrest on charges of crimes against humanity and genocide fly back to his country yesterday after escaping arrest in South Africa.

His safe departure has thwarted efforts by supporters of the International Criminal Court to have him arrested while he attended the ordinary session of the African Union Assembly that has been taking place in Johannesburg and Pretoria in South Africa. 

Bashir has for six years now avoided arrest following his indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2009.

Omar Hassan Al-Bashir was indicted on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In 2010, the international court also charged Bashir with three counts of genocide committed in the Darfur region, in Sudan.

All of the charges against Bashir are linked to the conflict in the western Darfur region of Sudan, where an estimated 300,000 people have died and more than two million have been uprooted by more than a decade of fighting between the government and rebels.

While in South Africa, the International Criminal Court activists had secure an order from the South Africa High Court calling on authorities to prevent Bashir from leaving the country.

But Sudanese News Agency (SUNA) and other agencies on Monday evening said Bashir was safely traveling back home.

Sources attending the AU summit say the High Court order caused some unease in the summit forcing South Africa\'s foreign Affairs minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashbane to intervene by flagging a minute granting diplomatic immunity to Bashir and other leaders in the African Union.

She cited section 5(3) of the Diplomatic Privileges Act 2001 and the agreement between Republic of South Africa and the Commission of Africa Union to prevent Bashir\'s arrest in South Africa.  

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