Sudan has decided to hand over the ousted President Omar al-Bashir and two of his aides to the International Criminal Court, which has been demanding them for more than 10 years and accuses them of committing crimes against humanity and war crimes during the years of conflict in the Darfur region.
On Wednesday, the official Sudanese news agency “SUNA” quoted Foreign Minister Maryam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi as saying after she met with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Asad Khan, who is visiting Sudan, “the Council of Ministers decided to hand over the wanted persons to the International Criminal Court.”
The minister stressed her country’s cooperation with the court “to achieve justice for the victims of the Darfur war.”
Al-Bashir is presently imprisoned in Sudan’s capital, Kober. Following a large public protest movement against him, he was imprisoned in April 2019.
Sudan’s cabinet ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court last week, signaling a fresh step toward the trial of Al-Bashir before the international court.
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Al-Bashir in 2009, accusing him of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the armed conflict in Darfur that began in 2003 between government troops supported by militias and rebel groups, killing over 300,000 people.
It also issued arrest warrants for two of his advisers, former Minister of Defense Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein and former Governor of South Kordofan State Ahmed Haroun, both of whom are detained in Kober.
After appearing before a government investigative committee in early May, Haroun asked that he be submitted to the International Criminal Court.
Karim Asad Khan, the next Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, came to Sudan on Monday with a group of his advisers and International Criminal Court employees for a visit that will run through Thursday.
He met with two former Darfur rebel officials on Wednesday, who are now members of the country’s Transitional Sovereignty Council. Last October, the Darfur rebel movements and the transitional government signed a peace deal.
“Hadi Idris and Taher Hajar, two members of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, met separately in the Republican Palace today, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court,” the Transitional Sovereignty Council announced in a news circular.
Khan will return to Sudan in November and will report to the Security Council in December, according to the Council.