Omar al-Bashir, Sudanese President, has left Nigeria earlier than expected, after human rights activists criticised his visit and threatened to use the Nigerian court system to arrest him.
Speaking to the AFP, the Sudanese Embassy in Nigeria confirmed Mr al-Bashir's departure, but denied he had left out of fear for his arrest, instead explaining he had another engagement. No information was provided about this second engagement however. The Sudanese President was in Nigeria for an African Union health summit, and was due to leave on Tuesday when the summit ended. The visit had raised eyebrows amongst those who in the international community who believe Mr al-Bashir is guilty of war crimes. The Sudanese President has been accused of crimes against humanity and genocide in the region of Darfur, with two arrest warrants having been issued for him in the past by the Hague's International Criminal Court, of which Nigeria is a member. Although Nigeria is legally obliged to arrest anyone with an ICC-issued warrant, the African Union has passed a resolution which says members need not enforce this rule.