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Reports: Omar al-Bashir to attend AU Summit

Human rights groups are clamouring to have the Sudanese president arrested upon arrival in SA.

FILE. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Picture: AFP/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA

JOHANNESBURG - Sudan's official media is reporting that President Omar al-Bashir is heading for the African Union (AU) Summit, which starts in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Human rights watchdog groups are clamouring to have South African authorities arrest him on arrival, as they're obliged to do as signatories of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In the past, whenever al-Bashir was invited to South Africa, diplomatic exchanges between the capitals pointed out that he should decline because Pretoria takes seriously its obligations under the Rome treaty.

South African envoys said this time the AU Summit hosts are unlikely to create the continental fury that arresting al-Bashir would cause.

They said the authorities would rather weather the storm of NGO and western diplomatic outrage.