Sudan's President, who faces genocide charges, to attend Saudi summit with Trump

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir speaks March 2, at a news conference in the presidential palace in Khartoum.

Story highlights

  • He will "participate actively" at the summit in Saudi Arabia, senior Sudanese lawmaker says
  • The Trump administration has disavowed Bashir's invitation by Saudi officials

(CNN)Sudan's controversial President Omar al-Bashir is due to attend a summit in Saudi Arabia that will bring together US President Donald Trump and leaders of Muslim majority nations, a senior Sudanese lawmaker said Wednesday.

Bashir, who's led his country for almost three decades, has been charged with crimes against humanity, including genocide, by the International Criminal Court related to the Darfur conflict in Sudan in 2010.
    But he denies the charges, has yet to cooperate with the court and continues to travel freely around the continent, including to South Africa and Uganda, which have been criticized for not turning him in.
    The Trump administration has disavowed Bashir's invitation.
    "We oppose invitations, facilitation, or support for travel by any person subject to outstanding (International Criminal Court) arrest warrants, including President Bashir," a senior State Department official said.
    Bashir was invited to the summit by the government of Saudi Arabia and will attend and "participate actively," said Rabie Abdul Atti, a senior member in the ruling National Congress Party in Sudan.
    "On his agenda for the summit will be the removal of sanctions finally which were imposed by the US on Sudan. Also on the top of the agenda is to how to combat and how to fight terrorism," Atti said.
    "What we know is that President Bashir and President Trump will be in the same conference hall, but we don't know whether he will meet President Trump," he added.
    Trump is set to depart Friday for Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip as President. He is scheduled to go on to Israel, the Vatican, Belgium and Sicily, Italy.

    Darfur conflict at issue

    Sudan is one of six Muslim-majority countries whose citizens were barred from entering the United States under Trump's second executive order on immigration.
    Its development has been beset by ongoing conflicts, most notably the Darfur conflict, which began around 2003, when several rebel groups took up arms against the government in Khartoum. They fought over land and historical marginalization, which continues today.
    People displaced from Darfur's conflict arrive at Shangel Tubaya in 2010.