Updated: March 1, 2021
Sudan has agreed to hand over former President Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court to face trial for war crimes and genocide.
Sudan’s transitional authorities said they agreed to hand over the ousted autocrat in a deal with rebels to surrender all those wanted in connection with the Darfur conflict.
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“We agreed that everyone who had arrest warrants issued against them will appear before the ICC. I’m saying it very clearly,” said Mohammed Hassan al-Taishi, a member of the transitional council and a government negotiator. He did not give a timeline for the handover.
“We can only achieve justice if we heal the wounds with justice itself,” he said. “We cannot escape from confronting that,” he added, speaking at a news conference in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, where the government and multiple rebel groups are holding talks to end the country’s various civil wars, including Darfur.
The Associated Press recalled that “for a decade after his indictment, al-Bashir confounded the court based in The Hague, Netherlands. He not only was out of reach during his 30 years in power in Khartoum, but he also traveled abroad frequently to visit friendly leaders without fear of arrest. He even attended the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he kicked a soccer ball playfully during an airport welcome ceremony and watched matches from luxury seating”.
“The military overthrew al-Bashir in April 2019 amid massive public protests of his rule, and he has been jailed in Khartoum since then. Military leaders initially ruled out surrendering him to The Hague, saying he would be tried at home. But the joint military-civilian Sovereign Council that has ruled Sudan since last summer has agreed with rebel groups in Darfur to hand over those wanted by the ICC to face justice in The Hague,” AP added.