- Sudanese clerics have ruled that President Omar al-Beshir should not attend the annual Arab summit in Qatar scheduled later this month, fearing that he might be targeted for arrest, the Committee of Islamic Scholars have said in the statement.
President Al Bashir who is expected to travel on 29 and 30 March, has been barred by the highest religious authority saying it was inadmissible for him to travel abroad because of the threat from "enemies of the nation".
The clerics said President Al Bashir risks being detained if he leaves Sudan under the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court earlier this month for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
President Al Bashir's trip to Qatar would be his first trip abroad since the warrant was issued on 4 March this year.
"Because you are the symbol and the guardian of the nation, we think that the conditions are not right to attend the summit and that this task can be carried out by persons other than yourself," the ruling said.
The ruling comes despite the Khartoum's insistence that President Al Bashir should go to the Doha summit.
Loyal supporters of the president have called on Mr Al Bashir not to travel, saying although Qatar did not sign and ratify the Rome Statute which set up the court, there was no obligation it could not protect the interests of the United Nations as a member.
The Arab League and the African Union have both criticised the warrant as not helping to end the six-year-old Darfur conflict and called for the United Nations to exercise its right to defer it.
Since the issuance of the warrant of arrest by the ICC, President Al Bashir has mounted a massive campaign against international aid organisations and expelled 13 of them saying they fed the international court false accounts about Darfur.
The aid organisations worked with more than 4.7 million Sudanese including 2.7 million in refugee camps.
The United States government has also said that the President, Omar Al Bashir, would be held responsible for the worsening crisis and death of people in the troubled Darfur region.
The Darfur conflict which started in 2003 when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government complaining of discrimination and neglect has killed more than 300,000 people with more others displaced.
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