Bashir avoids arrest as he returns home from SA

Sudanese president Omar al Bashir at the AU summit in South Africa

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has arrived in Khartoum from South Africa despite a court order against his departure.

The president arrived at the Khartoum airport at around 6:50pm Sudan time.

Hundreds of supporters and the ruling national Congress Party members gathered at the airport to receive the president.

Foreign affairs minister Ibrahim Gandour told reporters upon Bashir’s arrival that some South African and International lobbies had organised the attempt to arrest Bashir.

Mr Bashir flew out of South Africa despite an order barring him from leaving while a Pretoria court decided whether to arrest him on charges issued by the International Criminal Court.

President Bashir was visiting Johannesburg for an African Union (AU) summit. He is wanted by the ICC for War crimes, Crimes against humanity and genocide during the Darfur conflict.

The Pretoria High Court issued an order for Mr Bashir’s arrest hours after his aircraft left the country.

A South African judge, Dunstan Mlambo has said that the failure to arrest Mr Bashir had violated the country’s constitution.

African politicians have long said the court unfairly targets African leaders and nations, arguing that it overlooks crimes committed in other parts the world. The court’s supporters point out that most of the cases it has pursued were brought by African governments.

The African Union, which represents the continent’s governments, has campaigned heavily against the court, contending that no sitting head of state should be prosecuted. Other African nations, including Kenya and Nigeria, have allowed Mr. Bashir to visit and leave.

The United Nations says 300,000 people have been killed in the Darfur conflict and another 2.5 million forced to flee their homes.