Sunday Aghaeze / AP
President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan, left, and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir right, shake hands before an African Union summit on health focusing on HIV and AIDS.
The president of Sudan has been allowed to leave a conference in Nigeria, despite the International Criminal Court calling for his “immediate arrest” on charges of genocide and war crimes, officials said Tuesday.
Omar al-Bashir is accused of five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes and three counts of genocide against the Fur, Masalit and Zagawa tribes in Darfur, where the U.N. estimates 200,000 people have been killed.
Two arrest warrants have been issued for the former army brigadier, who came to power in 1989 after leading a bloodless military coup.
But while many African countries – including South Africa, Kenya and Malawi – have threatened to act on the warrant, Nigeria allowed him to attend Monday’s one-day African Union HIV/Aids summit.
This was in keeping with 2009 vote by African Union states not to cooperate with ICC indictments, a Nigerian official told Reuters.
African enthusiasm for the court has waned over the years, partly owing to a perception that prosecutors disproportionately target African leaders – an accusation the ICC denies.