By Andrew Heavens, Reuters, 01 March 2009
KHARTOUM, April 1 (Reuters) – Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir flew to Saudi Arabia on a brief pilgrimage, state media said on Wednesday, his latest stop on a foreign tour in defiance of an international arrest warrant against him.
It was Bashir’s fifth visit to a foreign state since the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against him on March 4 accusing him of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s Darfur region.
Sudanese television and state radio said Bashir left a summit of Arab and Latin American leaders in Qatar and flew to Saudi Arabia. The reports did not say when he arrived.
The state-run channel said: “President of the republic Field Marshal Omar al-Bashir has arrived in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah (an Islamic pilgrimage).”
Bashir risks arrest if he leaves Sudan and he has so far only visited countries that are not members of the International Criminal Court.