Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has arrived in Libya, the BBC has reported, as part of a two-day visit that has drawn criticism by a human rights group.
Bashir is wanted by the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide in Sudan’s western Darfur region. He was met at Tripoli airport on Saturday by Mustafa Abdul Jalil, chairman of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC), Reuters reported.
In a statement, Richard Dicker, international justice director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), said “welcoming Bashir… raises questions about the NTC’s stated commitment to human rights and the rule of law”.
Sudanese-Libyan relations soured under the dictatorship of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, toppled last year by rebels openly supported by al-Bashir who provided them with guns and money.
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Abdul Jalil visited Khartoum in November. Al-Bashir’s government there accused Gaddafi of supporting Sudanese rebels in Darfur and in South Sudan, which secured independence last July under a 2005 peace deal, according to the Associated Press.
According to Reuters, the loss of oil production in the south of the country has hit al-Bashir hard, with revenue losses and climbing inflation increasing pressure on the president at home.
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