Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

AU warns 6,000 jihadists could return to Africa

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's accusers say #MeToo... again

Read more

THE DEBATE

Game Changer? Middle East Diplomacy after Trump's Jerusalem Move

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Niger's president warns Malian state 'could collapse'

Read more

FOCUS

USA: Voters speak out ahead of high-stakes Alabama Senate race

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Readying the eurozone for future storms: EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Russian influence, reforms, corruption: Challenges for Europe's Eastern partners

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Kidnapped and sold in Libya: Our Observer's story

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Son Little, Eminem, N.E.R.D & 'adieu' Johnny Hallyday

Read more

In Russia, Sudan's Bashir asks Putin for 'protection' from US

© SPUTNIK/AFP | Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir met with Vladimir Putin in Russia

SOCHI (RUSSIA) (AFP) - 

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and war crimes, on Thursday asked Russia's Vladimir Putin to protect his country from the United States.

Speaking during his first visit to Russia as president, Bashir also said he wanted to ramp up military ties and praised Moscow's military campaign in Syria.

"We have been dreaming about this visit for a long time," the Sudanese president told Putin at the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

"We are thankful to Russia for its position on the international arena, including Russia's position in the protection of Sudan. We are in need of protection from the aggressive acts of the United States."

The Sudanese leader praised his earlier meeting with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

"We are currently launching a programme to modernise our armed forces and we agreed with the defence minister that Russia will contribute to this," Bashir said.

Putin said that Russia was keen to intensify economic ties including in agriculture and energy.

"There are prospects not only in the hydrocarbon sphere but also in energy," Putin said. "There are many prospects of cooperation."

The visit came a month after the United States lifted a trade embargo it imposed on the impoverished African state in 1997 over Khartoum's alleged backing of Islamist militant groups.

US President Donald Trump also removed Sudan from a list of countries facing a US travel ban.

Sudan's deadly conflict in Darfur broke out in 2003 when ethnic minority groups took up arms against Bashir's Arab-dominated government, which launched a brutal counter-insurgency.

The UN says at least 300,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million displaced as a result of the conflict.

Top Sudanese officials including Bashir now claim that the conflict has ended, but the region continues to see regular fighting between numerous ethnic and tribal groups.

Bashir is wanted by the ICC for genocide and war crimes related to the conflict, charges he denies.

© 2017 AFP