The plane that President of Sudan Omar Al-Bashir used to elude arrest and slip out of South Africa appears to have caused some ‘considerable damage’ at the military airfield from which it made the ‘very speedy’ get away.
According to authorities, the jet was seen taking off in such hurry and at such a high-speed that, in less than a minute, its tyres turned red-hot as it reached new sound-barrier speed records to get off the ground, out of South Africa, and as far-away as possible from the those at his heels.
The resulting high-pitched rattling noise made by the jet engines struggling to gather supersonic speed, shattered some glass windows at a near-by military facility, and left rubber and metal debris strewn across the runway. Further inspection found new cracks on the runway that prompted engineers to declare the runway ‘unlandable’ and parts of the facility unusable until repaired.
The fugitive-from-justice President of Sudan was in South Africa for an African Union (AU) summit when a court there barred him from leaving and ordered his arrest on an international warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war-crimes and genocide against his people in Darfur, Sudan.
Al-Bashir’s plane was expected to land in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan at around 17:30 local time on Monday but the plane arrived 50 minutes early, much to the surprise of journalists who were summoned to cover the home-coming.
According to eye-witnesses, multiple fire-trucks were deployed to cool down the jet engines when the plane returned to earth.
Returning to the burnout of South African law and the aftermath of war left in certain quarters of the South Africa Government, not to mention the disruption caused by the attendance of His Excellency Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan at the high-profile event, the hosts have now deemed it to be ‘a very very bad idea inviting an indicted war criminal to this “Extraordinary AU Summit”’.
Others in government and the opposition are questioning how the (now believed to be modified and very hi-tech) Presidential jet was allowed to land and take off from (what used to be) a high-security military airbase.