APA-Addis Ababa (12 March 2009) Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, who was expected to arrive in Ethiopia on Wednesday, has cancelled his visit, APA learns here on Wednesday. (Picture: People protest against Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in front of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, March 4, 2009. REUTERS/Jerry Lampen)
Bashir was expected to attend the annual Ethio-Sudanese Joint Committee meeting, originally scheduled to start on Wednesday in Addis Ababa.
The meeting was due to discuss issues related to the two countries’ bilateral cooperation on various fields.
Sources in Addis Ababa told APA that the meeting was to be preceded by a ministerial meeting headed by the foreign ministers of the two countries on while the experts’ committees were to convene on the 7th and 8th of March.
A week ago, a delegation of Sudanese officials was in Addis Ababa holding talks with Ethiopian officials about the preparations for the meeting.
However, while the sources have refused to confirm whether the cancellation of Bashir’s trip to Ethiopia was in connection with the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant.
Ethiopia, which is not a member of the ICC Rome Statute, strongly indicated its opposition to the arrest warrant for Bashir on seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which include murder, rape and torture.
However, the meeting is re-scheduled to be held in April 2009 though it is not yet clear if Bashir will be attending.
Since the ICC issued its arrest warrant against President Bahsir, he has not undertaken any official visit outside his country.