Why couldn’t Omar al-Bashir fly over Turkmenistan?

Something odd seems to have happened this morning on Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s flight from Iran to China: Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Sudan News Agency that al-Bashir’s plane had been instructed to change its route while flying over Turkmenistan but was unable to do so, and instead returned ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
552435_sudan_62.jpg
552435_sudan_62.jpg

Something odd seems to have happened this morning on Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's flight from Iran to China:

Sudan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Sudan News Agency that al-Bashir's plane had been instructed to change its route while flying over Turkmenistan but was unable to do so, and instead returned to Tehran, where al-Bashir had just attended an anti-terror conference. It did not explain why the original route was altered.

The website of the France-based Sudan Tribune cited unnamed sources as saying the presidential plane's flight path was abandoned after it was "deemed risky" but didn't elaborate.

Something odd seems to have happened this morning on Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s flight from Iran to China:

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Sudan News Agency that al-Bashir’s plane had been instructed to change its route while flying over Turkmenistan but was unable to do so, and instead returned to Tehran, where al-Bashir had just attended an anti-terror conference. It did not explain why the original route was altered.

The website of the France-based Sudan Tribune cited unnamed sources as saying the presidential plane’s flight path was abandoned after it was "deemed risky" but didn’t elaborate.

China has been pretty adamant about its intention to host Bashir and doesn’t recognize the ICC’s indictment against him, so it seems unlikely the Beijing would have instructed the plane to turn around. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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