Sudan’s Minister for Federal Affairs has announced that the government is to hand over officials accused of war crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC). No names or dates for the handover were provided.
Buthaina Dinar made her comment at the end of a closed meeting of the government in Khartoum. She explained that the process would take time due to the required procedures, some of which are state-related, with the accused being tried in other cases related to corruption and the 1989 coup.
Since the fall of the regime of former President Omar Al-Bashir and the formation of the transitional government about two years ago, the issue of handing over such wanted persons to the ICC has been a contentious subject within the cabinet. This was settled to some degree by the Juba Peace Agreement on the principle of the suspects appearing before the court without specifying the mechanisms and place of that appearance, and whether it will be inside or outside Sudan.
In her last visit to the country a few weeks ago, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda demanded the extradition of Ahmed Haroun, who was a prominent leader of the ousted regime, to appear before the court in The Hague, along with Ali Kushayb. She believes that they are involved in the same case.Also on the wanted list are the ousted president and his defence minister, Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein, who have been both accused of committing war crimes and genocide in Darfur. Al-Bashir’s regime categorically rejected all of the allegations.
Omar Al-Bashir remains in Kober Central Prison, north of Khartoum, where he has been since his ouster on 11 April 2019 under the weight of popular protests against the deteriorating economic situation. He spent three decades in office.
In 2003, a conflict erupted in the Darfur region between government forces and armed rebel movements. According to the UN, 300,000 people were killed and around 2.5 million were displaced as a result.