News / Africa

Sudan's Bashir Leaves Nigeria Amid Calls for Arrest

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir walks out of a hotel in Abuja, Nigeria, July 14, 2013.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir walks out of a hotel in Abuja, Nigeria, July 14, 2013.
VOA News
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has left Nigeria after calls from human-rights activists demanding his arrest on war-crimes charges.

The Sudanese leader flew back to Khartoum on Monday, less than 24 hours after he arrived in Abuja for an African Union summit on AIDS that runs through Tuesday.

In an interview with VOA, the undersecretary of Sudan's Foreign Ministry said Bashir's departure was not related to the calls for his arrest.

"As far as we are concerned, nothing happened.  He was there, he attended the summit, and when the summit is over, he came back," said Osman.

The official, Ramatallah Osman, said the president would not have gone to Nigeria if there was a threat to his safety.

Omar al-Bashir

  • Born January 1, 1944 in Hoshe Bannaga, Sudan
  • Graduated from Sudan Military College in 1966
  • Rose through the ranks of Sudan's army
  • Came to power in a 1989 coup
  • President of Sudan since 1993
  • Subject to the first ICC case against a sitting head of state
  • ICC issued an arrest warrant for Bashir in March, 2009
While Bashir was in Nigeria, activists filed suit in the country's Federal High Court in an effort to make authorities arrest him.  

The Sudanese president is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Sudan's Darfur region.

The ICC said Tuesday it had asked Nigeria to arrest Bashir and hand him over to the court's custody.

Human Rights Watch, which called Bashir's visit an affront to his victims, argued that Nigeria was obligated to arrest Bashir because of its membership in the court.

Charges Against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir at the ICC

5 counts of crimes against humanity:
  • murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture, rape
2 counts of war crimes:
  • intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population and pillaging
3 counts of genocide:
  • genocide by killing, genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm and genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about a group's physical destruction


Source: ICC

​A Nigerian presidential spokesman had indicated that authorities would not arrest Bashir.  The spokesman said Bashir came at the invitation of the African Union, which has supported Bashir's refusal to surrender to the ICC or accept the court's authority.

The ICC accuses Bashir of orchestrating crimes including murder, rape and extermination against civilians in Darfur, where rebel groups have been fighting the Bashir government since 2003.

Bashir has denied the charges and defied the ICC's warrant for his arrest, but is careful to visit countries only that are not members of the ICC or have guaranteed his safety.

Several African countries including Kenya, Chad, and Djibouti have granted entry to Bashir, while others, including South Africa, have refused to let him in.

You May Like

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs