Sudan transfers longtime leader Omar al-Bashir to ICC

Sudan will hand over longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court along with other officials called for the Darfur conflict, Foreign Minister Mariam al-Mahdi said on Wednesday.

“The Cabinet decided to hand over wanted officials to the ICC,” Mahdi was quoted as saying by state media.

Bashir, who ruled Sudan with an iron fist for three decades before being ousted from popular protests in 2019, is charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

The UN says 300,000 people were killed and 2.5 million displaced in the conflict, which erupted in the western western region in 2003.

Bashir, 77, has been wanted by the ICC since 2009, when it issued an order for his arrest.

The decision to hand him over came during a visit to Sudan by ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan.

Sudan has been led since August 2019 by a civil-military transitional administration that has promised to bring victims of crimes committed under Bashir.

Khartoum signed a peace deal in October last year with key Darfuri rebel groups, with some of their leaders taking top jobs in government, although violence continues to rule the region.

The Darfur War broke out in 2003 when non-Arab rebels took up arms and complained about systematic discrimination by Bashir’s Arab-dominated government.

Khartoum responded by releasing the infamous Janjaweed militia, recruited from the region’s nomadic people.

Human rights groups have long accused Bashir and his former aides of using a scorched earth policy, raping, murdering, looting and burning villages.

Last year, the alleged Janjaweed militia leader Ali Muhammad Ali Abd al-Rahman, also known as nom de guerre Ali Kushayb, capitulated to court.

ICC judges said in July that he would be the first suspect to be brought to justice in the Darfur conflict, facing 31 charges including murder, rape and torture.


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