Page last updated at 17:34 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 18:34 UK

Uganda 'will not arrest Bashir'

Omar Al-Bashir
The International Crimes Court is not recognized in Sudan.

The Ugandan government has dismissed claims that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, wanted for war crimes, faces arrest if he visits the country.

Officials had been quoted saying Mr Bashir would be held under an International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant for his arrest issued in March.

This would have contradicted a decision by the African Union, of which Uganda is a member, not to honour the warrant.

The ICC accuses Mr Bashir of organising attacks on civilians in Darfur.

Earlier in the week, Uganda's state minister for international affairs Henry Oryem Okello told the press that Mr Bashir faced arrest in Uganda.

But Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has now reportedly apologised for this statement.

Sudan's state-owned Suna news agency reported that Mr Museveni telephoned Mr Bashir and distanced his government from Mr Okello's claims.

President Museveni said Mr Okello was not mandated to speak on behalf of the government on the issue.

Police chief Kale Kayihura also told the Daily Monitor newspaper he had not received any instructions to arrest Mr Bashir.

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