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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid