Sudan’s Al-Bashir may sneak into Lusaka

Organizers of the International Great Lakes Regional Conference have not yet received confirmation on whether Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir will attend.

They say they will only know on Sunday.

The conference is on-going at Mulungushi International conference centre in Lusaka.

Zambian vice president George Kunda opened the conference on Saturday.

But the presidents are expected to start arriving in Lusaka Saturday evening and continue flying in on Sunday.

One president raising eye-brows is Al Bashir due to his indictment by the International

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir

Criminal Court for war crimes. The indictment calls upon all governments of the world to arrest the Sudanese leader should he step on their soil.

Some members of the secretariat at the conference center in Lusaka told the Watchdog that Mr. Al Bashir may fly in but his itinery is kept secret.

His foreign affairs minister is already in Lusaka and was at the time of writing this taking part in the ministerial meeting with his colleagues from participating countries. The Watchdog was prevented from talking to the Sudanese minister by security.

‘Yes, he is invited. But he keeps his movements secretly because as you know he is wanted by the Hague:, said one person at the secretariat.

The source said they will only know by Sunday evenning if he will be coming or not.

But there are chances of the man actualy turning up owing to the Zambian government’s position on the indictment.

On July 24, 2009, the Zambian government described as ill-timed and ill-motivated, the indictment of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Foreign Affairs Minister Kabinga Pande says this is because despite the numerous obstacles in the way of the search for peace in Darfur, there is currently underway an all-inclusive political process sponsored by the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (UN).

Mr. Pande noted that the success of all peace initiatives depends on the cooperation of all parties, including the Government of Sudan.

And it is Mr. Pande who is currently chairing the meeting after taking over from his Kenyan counterpart on Saturday

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