Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir flew out of South Africa on Monday, defying a high court order which banned him from leaving the country until an application calling for his arrest had been heard.

An interim order was made by the high court in Pretoria on Sunday, barring President Bashir from leaving South Africa, where he had been attending a meeting of the African Union. The court ordered that he remain in South Africa pending an application from civil society organisations calling for his arrest on an International Criminal Court warrant.

The South African state broadcaster, SABC, reported at about 10:15 GMT on Monday that the president’s plane had flown out of the Waterkloof air force base, on the outskirts of Pretoria.

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