Sudan to hand over Bashir and other wanted officials to ICC (minister) – .

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Sudan to hand over Bashir and other wanted officials to ICC (minister) – .


Khartoum (AFP)

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

The “cabinet has decided to hand over the wanted officials to the ICC,” Mahdi said, quoted by state media.

Bashir, who ruled Sudan with an iron fist for three decades before being ousted amid popular protests in 2019, faces charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur .

The United Nations says 300,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced in the conflict, which erupted across the vast western region in 2003.

Bashir, 77, has been wanted by the ICC since 2009, when it issued an arrest warrant against him.

The decision to hand him over came during a visit to Sudan by the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan.

Sudan has been ruled since August 2019 by a transitional civil-military administration that is committed to bringing justice to the victims of crimes committed under Bashir.

Khartoum signed a peace accord last October with the main rebel groups in Darfur, some of their leaders in senior government positions, although violence continues to haunt the region.

The Darfur war erupted in 2003 when non-Arab rebels took up arms, complaining of systematic discrimination by Bashir’s Arab-dominated government.

Khartoum responded by triggering the famous Janjaweed militia, recruited from among the nomadic peoples of the region.

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

Last year, alleged Janjaweed militia leader Ali Muhammad Ali Abd al-Rahman, also known as the war name Ali Kushayb, went to court.

ICC judges said in July he would be the first suspect to stand trial for the Darfur conflict, facing 31 counts, including murder, rape and torture.

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