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‘Al-Bashir on his way home’

Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir. File photo: Marwan Ali

Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir. File photo: Marwan Ali

Published Jun 15, 2015

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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 said by phone.

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

A summit of African leaders in Johannesburg has been overshadowed by the International Criminal Court (ICC) call for Bashir to be detained on long-standing arrest warrants over his actions during the Darfur conflict.

On Sunday, Judge Hans Fabricius ordered authorities to stop Bashir from leaving the country, pending a decision on whether it should order his arrest.

The court was due to reconvene at 11.30am (09.30 GMT) on Monday.

Earlier a member of Bashir's delegation brushed aside the court case, telling AFP that “President Bashir... will leave on Monday.”

The Southern African Litigation Centre, a legal rights group, had launched an urgent application in the Pretoria High Court to force the authorities to arrest Bashir.

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South Africa is a signatory of the ICC, which has often been criticised for only targeting Africa leaders.

At the summit, Bashir attended a group photograph on Sunday along with South African host President Jacob Zuma and Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who is the chair of the 54-member group.

Monday is the closing day of the summit.

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AFP

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