Africa
Africa

Sudanese President Omar al- Bashir has left South Africa after the Pretoria High Court issued an order preventing him to leave the country, sources said on Sunday.

Delegates attend the opening of the 25th African Union (AU) Summit at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 14, 2015. The AU on Sunday kicked off its 25th summit in Johannesburg, amid high expectations for solutions to resolve a series of challenges. (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan)
Delegates attend the opening of the 25th African Union (AU) Summit at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 14, 2015. The AU on Sunday kicked off its 25th summit in Johannesburg, amid high expectations for solutions to resolve a series of challenges. (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan)

Al-Bashir left the country after attending the opening session attended by African Heads of State and Government at the 25th African Union (AU) Summit in Johannesburg, in defiance of an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC), said the sources refusing to be named.
Sudanese Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman also said al- Bashir has left the country.
“The president finished his business in South Africa and is coming back home,” Osman said, quoted by Bloomberg.
But there were also reports that al-Bashir was still seen at the AU Summit after he was reported to have left South Africa.
The Sudanese government said the al-Bashir would only leave South Africa after the AU Summit ends on Monday.
The conflicting reports confused the media, scrambling to find out Al-Bashir’s whereabouts.
The report of al-Bashir’s departure has yet to be verified.
Apparently there was a cat-and-mouse game unfolding on the sidelines of the AU Summit.
The ICC has requested South Africa to arrest al-Bashir when he came to the country to attend the summit. Al-Bashir is wanted for alleged crimes against humanity.
The Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) filed an urgent application on Sunday to the Pretoria High Court, requesting a court order to have al-Bashir arrested.
Judge Hans Fabricius ruled that al-Bashir should not leave the country until the urgent application to have him arrested has been heard.
But hours later Fabricius postponed the order to have al-Bashir arrested, at the request of the South African government.
The order was postponed until 11:30 a.m. Monday local time to allow the government to present its side of the argument.
In his second ruling, Fabricius ordered that al-Bashir not be allowed to leave South Africa pending the finalization of the application for the SA government to arrest him and that the SA Department of Home Affairs ensure the order is sent to every port of entry and exit in the country.
The judge also ordered that there be proof of service of the order and the identity of each person it is served on.
William Mokhari, who represents the SA government, told the court that al-Bashir will not be allowed to leave until after the application to have him arrested has been heard.
”We are dealing with a very serious matter which involves a sitting president of another country,” said Mokhari.
He said the only reason al-Bashir was in the country was to attend the summit and there was no reason he would leave until it was over on Monday.
Al-Bashir, dressed in a blue Western suit and looking relaxed, gave the thumbs-up to photographers as he stood for a group picture with other heads of state and government before the summit was kickstarted.
Sudan’s foreign minister Ali Ahmed Karti told the local media that the ICC was only targeting African leaders.
“President Bashir is a leading president and a member of the African Union, and he will continue attending summits wherever they are,” he said.
The ICC called on South Africa to respect its obligations to the Rome Statute of the ICC, to which the country is a signatory.
But South Africa has kept silent over the request.
A government source said that it would be ridiculous to arrest al-Bashir who was invited by both the SA and the AU to attend the AU Summit. Enditem

-Xinhua

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