November 14, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir has arrived in Mecca on Sunday to perform Haj during the annual season for the world’s largest religious gathering.
- FILE - Saudi Prince Khaled al-Faisal (R), also the Governor of Mecca, and Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir pray close to the Black Stone at the Kaaba inside the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca January 2, 2010. (REUTERS)
Bashir left for Saudi Arabia on Saturday accompanied by several federal, state and legislative officials.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Bashir in 2009 for war crimes in Darfur and added genocide to the indictment this year. Bashir rejects the charges saying they are part of a Western conspiracy to topple his regime.
However, he faces no arrest risk in Saudi Arabia which is not a member of the ICC and therefore not obliged to act on the warrant. He has traveled to the Arab country a number of times after the indictment.
The ICC has no police force and is reliant on member states to enforce its orders. Al-Bashir refuses to recognize the court’s authority and has vowed to never turn himself in.