Sudanese president skips Istanbul summit


ANKARA, Turkey -- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has decided not to attend the Organisation of Islamic Conference summit in Istanbul, officials were quoted as saying on Sunday (November 8th). Bashir, who is charged with genocide by the International Criminal Court, was originally supposed to arrive in Istanbul on Monday. Despite criticism from the EU, the Turkish government has said it would not arrest him at the meeting. However, Sudan's state-run news agency Suna reported on Sunday that the visit has been cancelled due to "new developments". Bashir is charged with running a genocide campaign which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 35,000 people and causing the "slow death" of at least 100,000 others, as well as forcing 2.5 million people from their homes in Darfur. (BBC, AFP, Anadolu news agency - 08/11/09)

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