Bashir drops plan to attend UN general assembly

Wednesday September 23 2015

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, under indictment by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, has abandoned his plan to attend the UN general assembly in New York this week.

Sudan's ministry of foreign affairs said the President will not be leading his government's delegation as earlier expected, said

President Bashir had vowed last month that he will attend the meetings, noting that the US had no right to block his visit as he would be participating at a UN event.

Washington has avoided hosting Bashir as many international human rights organisation and lobbies have called for his arrest if he set foot in America.

Last year a deep row erupted between Khartoum and Washington when the latter officially refused to grant President Bashir an entry visa to the US to attend UN meetings.



The Sudanese government has confirmed that foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour will lead the government delegation this week for the nine-day visit.

Besides addressing the UN General Assembly, Prof Ghandour will meet his American counterpart John Kerry as well as the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

There will be other meetings with foreign ministers from more than 20 countries, according to the Sudanese foreign ministry.

The meeting with the US Secretary of State is to "follow up on implementation of the outcome of the recent meetings in Washington and the meetings that were recently held in Khartoum with the US envoy," said the minister.

A special US envoy recently visited Khartoum to discuss the issue of lifting Sudan's name from the list of countries the US accuses of sponsoring terrorism.

Since the ICC issued an international warrant for his arrest on war crimes charges in 2009, President Bashir’s visits abroad have been controversial, the latest case being his visit to South Africa last June when a court called for his arrest.

However, the South African government ignored the court order.

Still, the Sudanese leader has visited many African and Arab countries amid international condemnations of the hosts.

His visit last month to China sparked similar condemnations against the communist state.