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West accuses Sudan military of retreating from cooperation with ICC

The military graduation ceremony of special forces, held in Khartoum, Sudan on 22 September 2021. [Mahmoud Hjaj - Anadolu Agency]
The military graduation ceremony of special forces, held in Khartoum, Sudan on 22 September 2021. [Mahmoud Hjaj - Anadolu Agency]

The ambassadors of 11 Western countries and the European Union delegation in Khartoum yesterday accused the military rulers in Sudan of retreating from cooperating with the International Criminal Court (ICC) since seizing power in a coup last October, Anadolu news agency reported.

In a joint statement the embassies of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union mission in Khartoum said: "The former Transitional Government worked closely with the ICC. We note the backwards step in such cooperation since the military takeover of 25 October 2021."

READ: Sudan reshuffles military leadership

This comes as ICC Chief Prosecutor, Karim Khan, on Wednesday called on the Sudanese authorities to cooperate with the international judicial body 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, Khan said the ICC's mission is to execute arrest warrants issued against Al-Bashir and his aides in order for them to be tried on charges related to the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region.

In a joint statement the embassies of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union mission in Khartoum said: "The former Transitional Government worked closely with the ICC [@UKinSudan/Twitter]

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.

READ: ICC demands Sudan's cooperation to arrest Bashir, aides for war crimes

The signatories to the joint statement considered Khan's communication with local communities in Darfur more than three years after the fall of Al-Bashir's regime "a reminder that victims of international crimes still await justice".

The statement called on "the current Sudanese authorities to renew full and unlimited cooperation [with the ICC], in line with the Juba Peace Agreement and in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding of August 2021 between the Office of the Prosecutor and Sudan."

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