KHARTOUM: Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges, said on Sunday he planned to attend this week’s United Nations General Assembly and had already booked a hotel in New York.
At a news conference, Bashir did not say whether the United States had granted him a visa yet, but did say he had made preparations to fly to New York via Morocco.
“Attending the General Assembly is our right, and nobody in the U.S. can question me or hold me” he said.
Bashir also said he was not worried that U.S. authorities would arrest him, as demanded by human rights groups, because Washington is not a member of the ICC.
Washington has led calls for Bashir to face international justice over bloodshed in the now decade-old conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region, and a senior State Department official said last week that Bashir would “not receive a warm welcome” if he traveled to New York.