March 9, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir flew to Saudi Arabia on Thursday in an unannounced trip for medical checkup, a presidential source told Sudan Tribune today.
- Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir attends a major conference of Islamists in Khartoum on November 15, 2012. (ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)
The source said Bashir will undergo normal checkup and will return home on Saturday.
The 68-years old president underwent surgery last August in Qatar performed on his throat that was only officially acknowledged weeks after.
He underwent a second operation in Saudi Arabia last November. Officials said he was advised to cut on his public appearances.
Though Bashir appeared to abide by doctor advises for several months, he resumed his public rallies and speeches including one last week in Port Sudan.
This week he postponed a trip to North Darfur state and no official explanation was given for the delay.
Bashir’s brother Abdullahi Al-Bashir, a physician, later admitted that his younger sibling was suffering from a tumor in his throat but insisted that medical tests proved that the swelling is benign.
Bashir has been ruling Sudan since taking power in an Islamist-backed military coup in 1989.
In 2009 he became the first sitting head of state to be served with an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Darfur conflict, which according to the UN, led to the death of 300,000 people and displacement of 2.7 million in 2003-2004.
He had made public his intention to step down at the end of his term in 2015 but last month his 2nd VP Al-Haj Adam Youssef said that Bashir will be renominated for a new term.