March 5, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The governor of North Darfur, Osman Mohamed Yousif Kibir, has denied that the visit of president Omer Hassan al-Bashir to his state, scheduled for Wednesday, has been cancelled, saying that a new date will be determined later.
- Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir (AFP)
"I expect delaying the visit for a short period of time and not scrapping it," Kibir said without explaining the reasons for the rescheduling.
Heavy fighting broke out recently across Darfur between government troops and rebels on one side and between two Arab tribes over gold exploration rights.
Bashir was supposed to inaugurate several development projects in Taweesha locality and address his supporters there.
His visit would have coincided with the fourth anniversary of the warrant issued for him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on ten counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Sudan refuses to recognise the court’s jurisdiction calling it a western plot to overthrow the regime.
Human rights groups and the United Nations estimate the 300,000 people have died in the Darfur conflict overall. The government says around 10,000 people have been killed.