CAIRO, (AP) – Sudan’s president traveled to Eritrea on Monday in his first trip abroad since an international court issued an arrest warrant against him on charges of war crimes in Darfur.
The Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera showed live coverage of President Omar al-Bashir arriving at the Asmara airport to be greeted by his Eritrean counterpart President Isaias Afwerki.
Drummers and colorfully attired female dancers also greeted the Sudanese president on his arrival and he shook hands with Eritrean officials inside the airport itself, before being whisked away by a black Mercedes.
The visit was previously unannounced, but the channel said Eritrea had extended an invitation to al-Bashir on March 10.
On March 4, the Hague-based International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir for his role in atrocities committed in Sudan’s Darfur region.
Under the charter of the ICC, member states are bound to arrest those indicted when they enter their territory. Eritrea is not a signatory.
Al-Bashir is scheduled to attend the Arab League summit at the end of the month in Qatar, but there have been public calls in Sudan for him to stay home because he might endanger himself by traveling abroad.