Sudan's Bashir cancels plan to attend U.N. assembly: U.N. official

UNITED NATIONS Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:23am EDT

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir addresses a crowd in North Khartoum, June 8, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir addresses a crowd in North Khartoum, June 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir will not attend the U.N. General Assembly, a U.N. official said on Thursday, as the Sudanese leader faced protests over fuel subsidy cuts at home.

Despite an outstanding warrant for his arrest from the International Criminal Court, Bashir had said on Sunday he planned to attend the U.N. General Assembly and had already booked a hotel in New York.

Protests broke out in Khartoum and other Sudanese cities over higher fuel prices on Monday. Six people were killed on Wednesday during clashes with security forces and Sudan's internet was cut off on the third day of unrest.

A U.N. official told Reuters by email Bashir would not after all be coming to New York, giving no further details.

Washington has led calls for Bashir to face international justice over bloodshed in the now decade-old conflict in Sudan's Darfur region and the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. had previously called Bashir's intention to travel to New York "deplorable".

A U.S. official had said on Wednesday that a decision on Bashir's visa request had not yet been made.

(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz; editing by Patrick Graham)

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