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Diplomat: Sudan leader has fled Nigeria

ABUJA, Nigeria – A Sudanese diplomat says President Omar al-Bashir has left Nigeria after human rights lawyers and civil rights activists demanded his arrest.

Al-Bashir has been indicted for genocide and war crimes in Darfur.

The diplomat who would not give his name told the Associated Press that al-Bashir left at 3 p.m. Monday, less than 24 hours after he arrived and in the middle of a two-day summit ending Tuesday.

He denied that al-Bashir’s hasty departure was related to demands for his arrest. Human rights lawyers filed a lawsuit Monday to try to compel the government to detain Sudan’s president and surrender him to the International Criminal Court for trial.

Nigeria’s government says it followed an African Union instruction that its 53 member states not arrest al-Bashir.

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