The leader of Sudan’s transitional government has pledged to cooperate with the International Criminal Court in its case against former autocratic leader Omar al-Bashir.
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok met Sunday with a delegation from the ICC led by prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. The ICC has issued arrest warrants for Bashir on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in connection with the unrest in the western Darfur region in 2003.
Al-Bashir reacted to an insurgency in Darfur against his regime by sending in the Janjaweed militias, which are accused of killing up to 300,000 people and driving as many as 2.5 million people from their homes.
Al-Bashir was overthrown by the military in April 2019 following mass demonstrations in the capital Khartoum and elsewhere that began in December of the previous year. He is currently serving a two year prison sentence in Sudan on corruption charges and is currently on trial for the 1989 coup that brought him to power.
The ICC delegation is also seeking information on two of al-Bashir’s associates, Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein and Ahmed Haroun. Both men were detained after al-Bashir’s overthrow.
Ex-Janjaweed commander Ali Kushayb has been in ICC custody since surrendering to authorities in the Central African Republic in June. He is facing charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, including several counts of murder, torture, pillaging and rape.
Sudan officials say the talks with the International Criminal Court have covered options ranging from a handover to forming a hybrid court to try ousted president Omar al-Bashir over the Darfur conflict.
Bashir, 76, has been wanted by the ICC for nearly a decade over charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the ravaged region of western Sudan.
“We discussed several options and suggestions relating to ICC cases and we are looking forward to reaching a common vision,” Justice Minister Nasreddin Abdelbary told a news conference.
“These options include handing (them) over, appearance (before the court), forming a hybrid court or a special court following consultations with state institutions and families of the victims,” he said.
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