Thank you for your reading and interest in the news Sudan to hand over former president Omar Al Bashir to the ICC, official says and now with details
Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - A senior Sudanese official said on Tuesday that the government has agreed with rebel groups to hand over former president Omar Al Bashir to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to stand trial for crimes in the western Darfur region.
The official, Mohammed Hassan Al Taishy of the 11-member Sovereignty Council, said the agreement to hand over Al Bashir to the ICC was reached out of conviction by both sides that only if justice was served can there be genuine and enduring peace in Darfur, a vast and mostly desert region where 300,000 people are said by the UN to have been killed in the conflict there in the 2000s.
Mr Al Taishy’s comments were in a statement by Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, a transitional body of top generals and civilians that has operated as a transitional collective presidency since August.
He was speaking in Juba, capital of South Sudan, where peace negotiations have for months been held between Sudan’s transitional government and an assortment of rebel groups fighting government forces in the western regions of Nuba Mountains and Darfur as well as Blue Nile south of the capital Khartoum.
Mr Al Taishy, also the spokesman for the government side in the Juba negotiations, did not mention Al Bashir by name.
One of Al Bashir's lawyers told Reuters after the announcement that the former Sudanese leader would refuse to deal with the body as it is a "political court" and that Sudan's judiciary is able to deal with any case.
The first warrant for Al Bashir's arrest was issued by the ICC in March 2009, followed by a second in July 2010.
He is charged with five counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of genocide committed during the Darfur conflict between 2003 and 2008. T
After 29 years in power, Al Bashir was removed by the military in April amid a wave of street protests against his rule. He was convicted in December of corruption and is now facing a trial over the shooting deaths of protesters during four months of street protests against his rule.
Tuesday’s news run contrary to repeated past assertions by members of the transitional government that Al Bashir would only be tried at home for crimes committed in Darfur. However, none of these officials had given a timeline for legal proceedings against him over these crimes nor a date for a trial. However, ending Sudan’s long-running wars has taken in added urgency since the country’s battered economy could not recover with significant reductions on defence and security spending, which combined account for nearly 40 per cent pf total expenditure, taking away precious funds from areas like education and health care.
“We cannot realise justice unless we use justice to heal the wounds,” said Mr Al Taishy in the statement.
“We cannot do this unless those indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and war crimes are tried before that tribunal,” he said. “I am saying it very clearly.”
Mr Al Taishy’s comments were confirmed by Reuters news agency in a Khartoum-datelined report that quoted Information Minister Faisal Saleh.
Updated: February 11, 2020 07:23 PM
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