South Africa 15.6.2015 02:19 pm

Bashir has left South Africa – Sudan minister

AFP / Gianluigi Guercia<br />Omar al-Bashir (centre) lines up with Congo's Denis Sasso-Nguesso (right) and and Abdelkader Taleb Oumar of the Sahrawi Arab Republic during a photo call at the African Union Summit in Sandton, South Africa on June 14, 2015

AFP / Gianluigi Guercia
Omar al-Bashir (centre) lines up with Congo's Denis Sasso-Nguesso (right) and and Abdelkader Taleb Oumar of the Sahrawi Arab Republic during a photo call at the African Union Summit in Sandton, South Africa on June 14, 2015

South Africa is in helter-skelter after the uncertainty of whether the Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has left the country or not.

Reuters reported that the state minister for information confirmed that Bashir has left Johannesburg.

Sudan said on Monday President Omar al-Bashir is flying home from South Africa, despite a court ordering him to stay as it decides whether to order his arrest over alleged war crimes and genocide.

“President Bashir’s plane took off from Johannesburg and will arrive around 6:30 pm (1530 GMT) this evening,” State Minister for Information Yasir Yousef told AFP by phone.

“Bashir will address the crowds that will gather to meet him,” he added.

Bashir, who was attending an African Union summit in South Africa, has been indicted by the International Criminal Court ( ICC) over war crimes and crimes against humanity.

However, at about 1pm, the South African government lawyer arguing against an application by a rights group to have Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrested told Reuters that he could not confirm reports that Bashir had left the country.

Local media reported sighting a Sudanese plane leaving Waterkloof Air Force Base near Pretoria at around 10: 00.

State advocate William Mokhari also told Reuters that this did not mean Bashir had left South Africa and he was requesting confirmation from the home affairs department.

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) spokesperson Collin Naidoo said he was not aware of any order from the SA Government to shut entry for Bashir.

After sending e-mails, messages and WhatsApp, the Justice Department spokesperson Mthunzi Mhanga was not available for comments.

 

 

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