Sudan’s Bashir flies out of S.Africa, defying court order

June 15, 2015 12:30 pm

– Assurances given? –

At the summit, Bashir attended a group photograph on Sunday along with South African host President Jacob Zuma and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, who is the chair of the 54-member group.

Monday is the closing day of the summit.

Sudan officials in Johannesburg had earlier brushed off the court case and said the South African government had given them assurances about Bashir’s trip before the summit.

The ICC indictments relate to the western Sudanese region of Darfur, which erupted into conflict in 2003 when black insurgents launched a campaign against Bashir’s Arab-dominated government, complaining of marginalisation.

Khartoum unleashed a bloody counter-insurgency using the armed forces and allied militia.

The United Nations says 300,000 people have been killed in the conflict and another 2.5 million forced to flee their homes.

Khartoum, however, disputes the figures, estimating the death toll at no more than 10,000.

The ICC had called on South Africa “to spare no effort in ensuring the execution of the arrest warrants” against Bashir, 71, who seized power in Sudan in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989.

The South African government and African Union made no immediate comment on Bashir’s exit.

The European Union had issued a statement saying it “expects South Africa… (to act) in executing the arrest warrant against any ICC indictee present in the country.”

The United States, which is not a participant in the ICC, said it “strongly support(ed) international efforts to hold accountable those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

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