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Registration date : 2009-01-04
|Subject: Despite an international arrest warrant issued last month, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is to visit Ethiopia and meet African Union officials on Tuesday, sources said. Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:47 am|| |
Despite an international arrest warrant issued last month, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is to visit Ethiopia and meet African Union officials on Tuesday, sources said.
Today, Sudan’s embassy in Addis Ababa said President al-Bashir is going to visit Addis Ababa “soon” but declined to disclose his travel schedule.
Al-Bashir’s itinerary has become secret than ever before despite his aggressive travel schedule.
Earlier, the Nation was told by Ethiopian sources al-Bashir was scheduled to arrive in Addis on Monday evening and was set to meet Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and other Ethiopian officials.
Some journalists waited for Bashir anxiously at the airport but to no avail.
During the visit, Al-Bashir plans to meet with African Union officials. The AU supports Bashir against the International Criminal Court’s warrant.
Recently, al-Bashir paid a visit to Eritrea, Libya and Egypt as well attended an Arab league summit in Qatar plus a brief pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, in Sudan, at least 177 people have been killed in weekend attacks on villages of the Lou Nuer tribe by armed men from the rival Murle ethnic group in south Sudan’s Jonglei state, a government official told Reuters today.
“By 4 pm yesterday, 177 dead bodies had already been found by our team,” the commissioner of Akobo county, Doyak Chol, said. “We are expecting more than 300 by the time all the places have been checked.”
A spokesman for the south Sudanese army, Malaak Ayuen Ajok, said it had not yet been able to verify the number of dead but that “it will not be less than 60”.
A vicious cycle of cattle raiding and counter-attacks in southern Sudan has plagued the oil-rich region since Sudan’s 2005 north-south peace deal ended one of Africa’s longest conflicts but left southern civilians heavily armed.
In another development, a French hostage snatched by kidnappers in Darfur more than two weeks ago is sick, her Canadian colleague said on Sunday, and one of the men holding the pair said talks with the French government had broken down.
“My colleague Claire is still sick, she still has diarrhoea, things haven’t changed,” Stephanie Joidon told Reuters via satellite phone, adding she had not receive medical treatment. An unidentified man holding the pair confirmed that Frenchwoman Claire Dubois was sick.