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Sudan to hand ex-President Omar al-Bashir, other officials to ICC over war crimes

Former Sudan President Omar al-Bashir to face ICC (PHOTO /Courtesy)

Sudan says it will surrender former officials, including former deposed president Omar al-Bashir, wanted for alleged war crimes in the Darfur region to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“The Council of Ministers decided to hand over those wanted by the ICC and approved a bill on Sudan’s accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and the two matters would be presented in a joint meeting of the Sovereignty Council and the Council of Ministers for ratification,” Mariam al-Mahdi, Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, was quoted as saying by state media.

According to the official SUNA agency, the minister made the remarks on Tuesday during a consultative meeting between the foreign ministry and the new chief prosecutor of the Hague-based court, Karim Khan, who was visiting Khartoum.

Al-Bashir, who was overthrown by the military in April 2019 amid nationwide protests, faces charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity over the conflict that broke out in Darfur in 2003.

Al-Bashir ruled Sudan for 30 years.

Since his ouster, al-Bashir has been in jail in the capital, Khartoum, on charges of corruption.

Also indicted by the ICC are two other senior political figures from al-Bashir’s rule: Abdel-Rahim Muhammed Hussein, interior and defense minister during much of the conflict, and Ahmed Haroun, a senior security official at the time and later the leader of al-Bashir’s ruling party. Both Hussein and Haroun have been under arrest in Khartoum since the Sudanese military, under pressure from protesters, ousted al-Bashir in April 2019.

The court also indicted rebel leader Abdulla Banda, whose whereabouts are unknown, and janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb, who was charged in May with crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The Darfur conflict broke out when rebels launched an insurgency in 2003, complaining of oppression by the government in Khartoum. Al-Bashir’s government responded with a campaign of aerial bombings and raids by militias known as janjaweed.

Up to 300,000 people were reported killed and 2.7 million were driven from their homes.

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