The International Criminal Court (ICC)’s Chief Prosecutor, Karim Khan, called on the Sudanese authorities to cooperate with the ICC in executing the arrest warrants issued against ousted President Omar Al-Bashir and his aides with regard to war crimes committed in Darfur.
At the end of his visit to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, which began on Saturday, Khan said the ICC’s mission is to execute arrest warrants issued against Al-Bashir and his aides in order for them be tried on charges related to the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region.
The court has demanded that Khartoum hand over Al-Bashir, 77, and three of his aides – Ahmad Harun, Abdel Raheem Hussein and Abdallah Banda.
Khan added that while the court is seeking to execute the four arrest warrants, the challenge is to achieve cooperation with the government of Sudan in this regard.
In what appears to be a criticism of the Sudanese authorities, Khan added that criminal justice requires more political will than diplomatic relations and the issuance of visas for ICC staff to enter Sudan.
In a report he submitted to the Security Council on the period between January and August 2022, Khan acknowledged positive steps taken by the government regarding the provision of visas but he also pointed to a recent retreat in cooperation on this.
“However, the overall picture during the reporting period has remained challenging and represents a backwards step from the strong period of cooperation enjoyed by the Office from Sudanese authorities from February to October 2021.”
He said that the ICC will arrive in Khartoum in October to open an office there.
In December 2019, al-Bashir was sentenced to two years in a rehabilitation facility on charges of corruption. Sudanese law prohibits the imprisonment of people aged 70 or over.
The International Court accuses the wanted Sudanese politicians of involvement in the extrajudicial killings of more than 260 people and raping dozens of women, in addition to looting, burning and intimidating thousands of residents in West Darfur.