ICC delegation visits Sudan to discuss case against al-Bashir | Sudan


A delegation from the International Criminal Court (ICC) is visiting the Sudanese capital to discuss the arrest warrants currently in place in relation to the conflict in the western Darfur region, including former President Omar al-Bashir.Al-Bashir, who was held in prison in Khartoum after being expelled by the army in April last year after months of protests against his rule, is wanted by the ICC for genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur , in a conflict that began in 2003 and killed around 300,000 people.

Led by prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, the delegation arrived on Saturday “will discuss cooperation between the International Criminal Court and Sudan concerning the defendants, against whom the court has issued arrest warrants,” said a statement from the Prime Minister’s office. Sudanese Abdalla Hamdok.

The delegation is reportedly meeting with senior Sudanese officials during its stay in the country, which will last until October 21.

A spokesperson for the ICC prosecutor’s office confirmed to AFP news agency that “Bensouda and a delegation from his office will be in Khartoum for the next few days to discuss cooperation between the ICC and Sudan.”

A Sudanese government source told AFP that Bensouda would “discuss the extradition” of Al-Bashir and others to a court based in The Hague.

The ICC accused al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010 of orchestrating atrocities in his campaign to quash a revolt in the Darfur region, accusations he has previously denied.

Two other former officials wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity in Darfur – Ahmed Haroun and Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein – are also being held in Khartoum.

In June Ali Kushayb, the leader of the People’s Defense Forces accused of committing some of the worst atrocities in Darfur, surrendered to the ICC and is now in detention.

A fifth man wanted by the ICC, rebel leader Abdallah Banda, remains at large.

The transitional government of Sudan has agreed that al-Bashir will be tried before the ICC. However, in a peace deal finalized earlier this month, the government agreed to establish a special crimes tribunal in Darfur and said al-Bashir would face that tribunal as well.

Hamdok told the Financial Times earlier this month that he had spoken to the ICC about the possibility of trying al-Bashir in Sudan, potentially in a “hybrid court”.

The 76-year-old former president is being held in the harsh Kober prison in Khartoum. He was convicted last December of corruption and is currently on trial in Khartoum for the 1989 coup that brought him to power. If found guilty, al-Bashir and 27 other co-accused face the death penalty.

Al-Bashir’s lawyer has repeatedly denounced the charges against the former president as being politically motivated.


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