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Sudanese president travels to Chad for regional summit

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May 9, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir will fly to Chad on Friday to attend the Great Green Wall summit, a presidential official said today.

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Chad’s President Idriss Deby (L) walks next to his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan al-Bashir (R) at Khartoum airport Feb 8, 2010 (Reuters)

Bashir’s press secretary Emad Sid Ahmed said that Bashir will address the summit which has been postponed twice before.

The summit was originally scheduled for March but rescheduled amid speculations that it was delayed over controversy related to Bashir’s presence.

Bashir has been wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) since 2009 on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region.

The conference was rescheduled again last April in a last minute move by Chadian president Idriss Deby who has reportedly asked for the postponement due to conflicting schedules of participating leaders.

Chad has dismissed reports of international pressure to shun the Sudanese leader and insisted that the rescheduling was a result of the participants’ busy calendars.

This will be Bashir’s fourth visit to Chad, which is a signatory to the Rome Statute, the founding document of the ICC.

Last month Chad also received the Sudanese defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein which was the latter’s first visit to an ICC member since the Hague-based court issued a warrant for him in 2012.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned the upcoming visit by Bashir to Chad.

"This would represent the fourth time Chad has welcomed ICC fugitive Sudanese president al-Bashir. Chad’s hosting him is an insult to victims. He should be arrested, not welcomed in Chad", said HRW senior international justice counsel Elise Keppler in an emailed statement to Sudan Tribune

African countries rallied behind Bashir and issued resolutions stating that they will not cooperate with the ICC in apprehending the Sudanese leader even if Bashir visits countries which have ratified the Rome Statue.

This has enabled Bashir to visit African ICC signatories such as Kenya, Malawi, Djibouti and Chad without incident.

During Chad’s thorny relations with Sudan, president Idriss Deby vowed at one point to execute the arrest warrant against Bashir, rejecting African Union (AU) resolutions granting him immunity. However, as relations improved Deby reversed his position.

(ST)

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  • 11 May 2013 05:07, by cl001
    • 11 May 2013 09:43, by Kedo

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