Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Texas student arrested last month after bringing a “homemade” clock to school, met Wednesday evening with President Omer Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan, who is accused of war crimes and orchestrating genocide.
“I am coming home, tell the world I am coming home #sudan,” Mohammed tweeted Tuesday, ahead of his visit to the central African nation.
— Ahmed Mohamed (@IStandWithAhmed) October 13, 2015
The Washington Post reported that Mohamed has met with a number of high-profile figures after sparking a nationwide debate surrounding allegations of “Islamophobia” last month when he brought a reassembled clock to school that school officials treated as a “hoax bomb.”
School officials notified authorities and the teen was photographed being led away in handcuffs. After being questioned and fingerprinted, Mohamed was released and no charges were filed.
But the Post noted the difference in this particular visit to Sudan because Bashir has been accused of war crimes, orchestrating genocide and even harboring 9/11 mastermind terrorist Osama bin Laden for five years in the 1990s.
These allegations are in addition to the fact that the U.S. has imposed a number of sanctions on Sudan and the apparent revelation by WikiLeaks that Bashir stole $9 billion in oil money, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables.
Mohamed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, has a history with Bashir and campaigned against his re-election efforts in 2010. Elhassan was eventually excluded from running against Bashir by the country’s National Election Commission because he didn’t have enough signatures, the Sudan Tribune reported.
Elhassan challenged that decision in court, but the appeal was unsuccessful.
“I was told that Bashir personally intervened with the [appeals] court to reject my challenge,” Elhassan said. “The N[ational] C[ongress] P[arty] wanted the elections on time and refused any requests for rescheduling. We heard the president threatening to torture any foreign observer talking about postponing the elections. Bashir got it his way.”
But the two men’s past run-ins weren’t all that apparent on Wednesday, according to the Sudan Tribune. Elhassan, who was with his son for the visit, reportedly “spoke graciously” of the country’s leader along with his son. Mohammad said he was “extremely delighted” to meet with Bashir and that he hopes to visit again “with a new invention and success”.
Muhammed is also expected to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House this weekend, the Post reported.
Obama sent out a tweet from the “@POTUS” Twitter account at the height of the controversy, inviting Mohamed to visit.
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.
— President Obama (@POTUS44) September 16, 2015
“Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great,” the tweet read.
(H/T: Washington Post)
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