Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is in Ethiopia today in a further show of defiance to an arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court on charges of Darfur war crimes.
A Sudanese presidential palace source and a foreign ministry official told Reuters Bashir, who risks arrest any time he travels abroad, was on his way to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa but gave no further details.
Experts say at least 200 000 people have been killed and more than 2.7 million driven from their homes in almost six years of ethnic and political fighting in Darfur in western Sudan. Khartoum says 10 000 people have died.
The trip is Bashir’s third abroad this week. He also visited neighbours Egypt and Eritrea following invitations from those countries for talks on the ICC move.
The Sudanese government said shortly after the ICC decision that Bashir would defy the warrant by travelling further afield to an Arab summit in Qatar next week.
But Sudanese officials have released statements raising questions over the wisdom of the trip, prompting speculation Sudan may send another representative.
Qatar’s prime minister has said the Gulf state was coming under pressure not to receive Bashir, though he did not say from whom.