Omar Al-Bashir to skip China-Africa summit in SA

SUDANESE President Omar Al-Bashir will not be visiting South Africa in December as had been expected. Bashir was expected to attend the summit of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (Focac).
The Sudanese embassy in Pretoria said Bashir had other commitments and that its country would be represented instead by a delegation led by its Vice President Bakri Hasan Saleh.
‘It is worth mentioning that the Sudanese President Omer Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir is currently engaged in highly important domestic issues, including the following up of the national dialogue, as well as the Addis Ababa round of negotiation between the Sudan and the armed groups,’ embassy spokesman Saif Ahmed said.
‘Moreover, President Al-Bashir recently participated in three consecutive summits, including Beijing summit of the forum on China-Africa, India Africa Forum Summit and the Fourth Summit of Arab-South American countries which convened in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.’
According to Africa News Agency, official sources said Bashir had been asked to skip the visit by both South African and Chinese governments. They apparently belived that his presence would detract attention from the summit.
In June, Bashir was at the centre of controversy during his visit to the country for the African Union summit in Johannesburg.
Bashir, accused of masterminding genocide in Darfur, was able to leave the AU summit and fly home, in defiance of the North Gauteng High Court’s ruling ordering his detention under a warrant from the International Criminal Court.
He is wanted by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity over atrocities committed in the Darfur conflict.

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