Al-Bashir defies ICC order, heads to China

The Sudanese president visits China on what his government deems a necessary trip for the economy.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Defying an International Criminal Court (ICC) order for his detention, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir started a four-day visit to China.

His trip is driven more by necessity than bravado.

China's economic downturn is hitting Sudan's already unstable economic and political situation.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour says China's invited President Omar al Bashir to visit for discussions on bilateral relations and to meet expatriate Sudanese living in China.

Gandour says Sudan is on the list of the top countries in Africa that are economically dealing with China.

He says China supported Sudan in its very dark days when Sudan was let down by the US, including extracting Sudanese oil.

He adds that China helps Sudan in oil refinery and other economic endeavours.