Sudan's state news agency says President Omar al-Bashir is traveling to Saudi Arabia to perform the Muslim pilgrimage to Islam's holiest sites.

The Sudan News Agency says that al-Bashir left Khartoum on Saturday for the annual hajj in Mecca.

The trip comes despite an outstanding arrest warrant issued for al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur.

Al-Bashir has traveled freely to Chad, Kenya and Qatar since the ICC warrant was issued last year. Those countries refused to arrest the Sudanese leader.

The ICC has no police force and is reliant on member states to enforce its orders.

Al-Bashir refuses to recognize the court's authority and has vowed to never turn himself in.