Malawi: Omar Bashir Not Welcome

Posted May 4th, 2012 at 1:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Malawi's new president wants nothing to do with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

President Joyce Banda said Friday she does not want Mr. Bashir coming to Malawi in July for an upcoming African Union summit. She said the last time the Sudanese leader visited, her country lost out on substantial amounts of foreign aid and that Malawi cannot afford to repeat that mistake.

President Banda suggested Sudan send another top level official instead.

Mr. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Sudan's western Darfur region. His government has been fighting rebels there since 2003.

He last visited Malawi in October of last year. At the time, Malawi's foreign ministry said it had no plans to arrest him, saying Mr. Bashir is a “free person” and a guest of then President Bingu wa Mutharika.