[dehai-news] (ST) Sudanese president cancels trip to Ethiopia

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From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (eritrea.lave@comhem.se)
Date: Wed Mar 11 2009 - 15:08:59 EST

Sudan president cancels Ethiopia trip, press conference and a rally
Wednesday 11 March 2009 05:30.
March 10, 2009 (KHARTOUM) - A planned trip by the Sudanese president
Omer Hassan Al-Bashir to Ethiopia today, for the annual supreme joint
committee meeting has been cancelled for unknown reasons.
The pro-government Sudanese Media Center (SMC) website reported that the
committee will convene on April 11th in the Ethiopian capital without
referring to the meeting that was scheduled for today.
Last month Sudan official news agency (SUNA) reported that Al-Bashir
will be leading the Sudanese delegation to Ethiopia on March 10th for
the annual supreme joint committee meeting co-chaired by Prime Minister
Meles Zenawi.
On February 25th the Sudanese defense Minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed
Hussein flew to Ethiopia where he discussed preparations for the joint
committee meeting.
However following the March 4th decision by the International Criminal
Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant for Bashir, Khartoum did not
confirm or mention the scheduled meeting.
Ethiopia is not a member of the ICC's Rome Statute and is therefore
under no legal obligation to arrest Bashir.
Last week the Ethiopian Communications Minister Bereket Simon said that
his country would "absolutely" ignore the warrant if Bashir visited.
Separately a press conference by Bashir was abruptly cancelled thirty
minutes before it was scheduled to take place without explanation.
A journalist in Khartoum told Sudan Tribune that the External Media
commission invited media organizations for the press conference at 10 am
before calling it off.
Furthermore Sudan official news Agency (SUNA) reported that a rally to
be attended by Bashir and volunteer organizations will be rescheduled
from Wednesday March 11th to Sunday March 15th.
The organizations were to hand Bashir a letter of commitment to cover
the gap in humanitarian work, SUNA reported.
Sudan has targeted 13 foreign and three local aid groups saying they
collaborated with the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The UN humanitarian chief John Holmes told reporters on Monday that the
Sudanese government lacks sufficient capacity to do the work of the aid
groups it has ordered out.


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