Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir came
to South Africa for the AU Summit
Sudanese government officials have said
that President Omar al-Bashir will return to
Khartoum on Monday, regardless of an
ongoing high court case which is hearing
an application for his arrest.
Sudan Information Minister Ahmed Bilal
Osman told Al Jazeera at about 09:00 GMT
on Monday that the president would
return to Sudan within hours.
“He is coming back to our country in one
or two hours,” he said, adding that it did
not matter if the court ordered Bashir’s
arrest, as it had no ability to enforce such
“The judiciary…does not have policemen.
The president is there [in South Africa] and
no one is going to arrest him.”
An interim order was made by the high
court in Pretoria on Sunday, barring
President Bashir from leaving the country
pending an application from civil society
organisation, calling for his arrest.
Background on African Union
opposition to the International Criminal Court
The state lawyers were expected to start
their arguments at 08:00 GMT before the
court in Pretoria on Monday, sources told
The high court has to decide
whether to send Bashir to the
International Criminal Court.
Al Jazeera’s Fahmida Miller, reporting from
Johannesburg, said that the Sudanese
president’s plane had been moved to a
South African military base late on Sunday
She said that the defence force was not a
party to the court case, meaning President
Bashir may be able to fly from the base
“We are currently waiting on the South
African Justice Department to present its
case,” she said, adding that the
department had promised to fight “tooth
and nail” against Bashir being arrested.
Bashir, who is accused of war crimes in
repressing an armed uprising in the
Sudanese region of Darfur, was due to
appear in Johannesburg on Sunday for the
The Hague-based ICC issued an arrest
warrant in 2009, but Bashir denies the
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told
reporters in Geneva on Monday that the
authority of the ICC must be respected and
its decision implemented.
Before Sunday’s court ruling was
announced, the judge said the court
would decide whether a South African
government cabinet decision to host
Bashir would trump the ICC arrest warrant