Friday, December 18, 2009

France Moves Summit to Exclude Sudan Leader

Summit moved to keep Bashir away

A France-Africa summit due to be held in Egypt has been cancelled over French concerns at the invitation of Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

The announcement came after Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt met in Paris.

The event, due in February, will now be held in France in May, diplomats said.

The International Criminal Court issued a warrant for Mr Bashir's arrest in March over atrocities in Darfur. He denies the accusations.

The venue was reportedly moved to prevent the Sudanese leader from attending: France has said it would carry out the ICC warrant for his arrest, whereas several African nations, including Egypt, have said they would not.

Mr Bashir has visited several African countries since the warrant was issued.

It accuses him of running a campaign of genocide that killed 35,000 people outright, at least another 100,000 through a "slow death" and of forcing two-and-a-half million to flee their homes in Darfur.

Earlier this month, Mr Bashir pulled out of an Islamic summit in Istanbul after Turkey, which is seeking EU membership, reportedly came under pressure from Brussels to drop him from the guest list.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/12/15 15:29:14 GMT

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