Ex-president al-Bashir to be handed to ICC

Khartoum: Sudan’s government has reached an agreement with rebels to hand over disgraced former president Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, a government spokesman said on Tuesday.

“The former leaders in Sudan who have been indicted by International Criminal Court (ICC) will be extradited to fulfil justice in the Darfur region of Sudan,” Mohamed Fiasal Salah, Sudan’s information minister, told dpa.

A spokeswoman for the ICC did not confirm the plans.

Al-Bashir is wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region.

In 2009 and 2010, the court issued warrants for al-Bashir’s arrest, as well as other Sudanese leaders, including former minister of humanitarian affairs Mohammad Haroun.

Al-Bashir ruled Sudan for three decades with an iron fist.

In 2003, rebel groups of black African descent in Darfur launched an attack on al-Bashir’s government, claiming unfair treatment.

The president enlisted the aid of Arab militia group Janjaweed, which terrorized the region, displacing more than 2 million people and killing an estimated 300,000.

Mohamed Hassan al-Taishi, a member of the Sovereign Council, the body that is temporarily ruling Sudan, said, “We can only achieve justice if we heal the wounds with the same justice. We cannot escape this because of the presence of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed, and the rights of innocent people in Darfur and other regions.”

He said the government was committed to justice, healing the wounds of war, and overcoming their destructive effects.

Representatives of the government of Sudan and rebel groups from Darfur are currently meeting for peace talks in Juba, in neighboring South Sudan.

Since the fall of al-Bashir in April 2019, the government has been holding talks with several rebel groups.

The government seeks to pave the way to free elections in three years’ time.

Al-Bashir has already been sentenced to two years in a rehabilitation centre in Sudan for corruption. In a separate trial, he is also accused of incitement to violence against demonstrators and complicity in the killing of protesters.

Sudan, with a population of 42 million, is a conservative Muslim country.

As a transit state for migrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, Sudan is also a partner as the EU attempts to curtail migration.

Source: Bahrain News Agency