Rights Group Urges Egypt to Block Visit by War Criminal Wanted for Crimes in Sudan

Planned Visit to Egypt by Sudanese President Sparks Outrage

(Washington, D.C.) — In a move that has sparked outrage among human rights groups, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is expected to begin a two-day state visit to Egypt on Sunday, September 16, 2012. A letter released on September 14 by United to End Genocide urged the Egyptian government to prohibit Bashir from entering the country. According to United to End Genocide President Tom Andrews, “It’s outrageous that Omar al-Bashir, a wanted war criminal, is being enabled to travel around the region and beyond. Egypt’s decision to invite Bashir is deeply disappointing, and sends a dangerous message of impunity. The Obama administration should to do everything in its power to persuade Egypt to do the right thing and cancel this visit.” Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for atrocities committed in Darfur. Most recently, even as the Darfur conflict continues, fighting has broken out along Sudan’s contentious border region with South Sudan. The United Nations suspects that war crimes and crimes against humanity have taken place in two border states, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Various human rights groups, including United to End Genocide, have cited evidence accusing the government of Sudan of bombing civilian areas and prohibiting humanitarian aid from reaching hundreds of thousands of people at risk of starvation. Andrews cautioned, “Egypt would be wise to think twice before allowing Bashir to step on its soil. Over the past year, the U.S. Congress has been working to cut non-humanitarian assistance to countries that welcome Sudan’s president. This pressure will continue as long as Bashir remains at large.” In July, Bashir was expected to visit Malawi for the African Union (AU) Summit. However, Malawi announced that the embattled leader was not welcome, citing external pressure. The summit was subsequently moved to Ethiopia where the AU is headquartered.

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The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network are now United to End Genocide. The organization remains committed to its work to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan as well as to end violence in other areas of mass atrocities. The merger creates the world's largest anti-genocide activist organization, with a membership base of hundreds of thousands of committed activists, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights partner organizations, and a network of institutional investors collectively representing more than $3 trillion in assets under management.
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