Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir

Sudanese President Omar al- Bashir has been spotted outside a South African hotel amid rumors that he has left the country after a court ordered him arrested, local media reported on Monday.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) said one of its reporters saw al-Bashir outside a hotel near the Sandton International Convention Centre where the 25th African Union (A) Summit was taking place.
There have been reports that al-Bashir left South Africa on Sunday after attending the opening session of the 25th African Union (AU) Summit in Johannesburg, but the news has not been officially verified.
“At this stage we are still moving on the promise that he is a still in the country,” said Mthunzi Mhaga, spokesperson of the Justice Department.
A Sudanese reporter working for a foreign news organization said he has got word from the Sudanese delegation that al-Bashir did leave South Africa on Sunday. The reporter refused to be named.
Conference sources said there was no sight of the whole Sudanese delegation at the conference hall when African Heads of State and Government went into closed door sessions on Monday. Even Sudanese reporters accompanying the delegation “disappeared”.
On Sunday, Judge Hans Fabricius at the Pretoria High Court ruled that al-Bashir should not leave the country until an urgent application to have him arrested has been heard.
Fabricius later postponed the order until 11:30am Monday to allow the government to present its side of the argument for not arresting al-Bashir.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has requested South Africa to arrest al-Bashir when he came to the country to attend the AU summit. He is wanted for alleged crimes against humanity.
The Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) filed an urgent application on Sunday to have al-Bashir arrested, as South Africa, being a signatory to the Roman Statues, has an obligation to arrest al-Bashir and hand him over to the ICC.
However, David Hoile, Director of Africa Research Centre, told Xinhua that South Africa’s signature to the AU article that give sitting presidents immunity from arrests and calling on all African countries not to cooperate with the ICC, bars the country from arresting the Sudanese president.
“The government of South Africa is legally bound first and foremost by its obligations to the AU as a constituency member state,” said Hoile. Enditem



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