Sudan's Omar al-Bashir not welcome for Malawi's Banda

President Bashir is welcomed in Lilongwe Malawi was referred to the UN Security Council after it defied the ICC arrest warrant last year

Malawi's new President Joyce Banda has said she does not want Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, accused of war crimes, to attend a summit in July.

She says she fears the "economic implications" if Mr Bashir attends the African Union meeting in Malawi.

Her predecessor, Bingu wa Mutharika, who died last month, last year defied calls to apprehend Mr Bashir.

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sudan's leader, over the Darfur conflict.

Mrs Banda is trying to improve relations with donors, who had cut aid to Mr Mutharika's government, accusing him of political repression and economic mismanagement.

The African Union has urged its members to ignore the warrant issued by the ICC, accusing it of only targeting African leaders.

After Mr Bashir visited Malawi in October 2011, the ICC referred the country to the UN Security Council.

Mrs Banda said she had asked the AU to urge Mr Bashir not to attend the July summit.

"Let the AU decide on his position. He [Bashir] should forgive us this time as we are struggling to fix the economy," the Reuters news agency quotes her as saying.

Mr Bashir was the first head of state to be indicted by the ICC, which accused him of genocide and war crimes in Darfur.

He denies the charges, saying they are politically motivated.

Chad, Kenya and Djibouti have also been referred to the UN Security Council for refusing to arrest Mr Bashir, even though they recognise the ICC.

Some 2.7 million people have fled their homes since the conflict began in Darfur in 2003, and the UN says about 300,000 have died - mostly from disease.

Sudan's government says the conflict has killed about 12,000 people and the number of dead has been exaggerated for political reasons.

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Deadly Darfur

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