The Sudanese government said that a delegation from the International Criminal Court will visit the country today to discuss the trial of ousted President Omar Al-Bashir and other former Sudanese officials on charges of committing war crimes and genocide in the Darfur region in western Sudan.
A government statement said that the delegation – which will be headed by the Prosecutor of the Court, Fatou Bensouda, and the visit will last for 3 days – will discuss ways of cooperating with the Khartoum authorities with regard to the wanted persons, without mentioning them by name. This is the court’s first visit to Sudan since the 76-year-old Al-Bashir was ousted last year.
The delegation of the Criminal Court will meet the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice and the Attorney General, provided that the delegation concludes its visit with a press conference.
Two arrest warrants
Omar al-Bashir – imprisoned in Khartoum since his ouster in the wake of mass protests last year – is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region. In 2009 and 2010, she accused him of being the mastermind of atrocities committed during his campaign to crush a rebellion in Darfur.
Omar Al-Bashir’s lawyer has repeatedly denounced the accusations leveled by the International Criminal Court for the former president, saying that they were politically motivated.
In addition to the ousted president, Sudanese authorities have also arrested Ahmed Haroun and Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein, two former officials wanted on charges of committing crimes against humanity during the Darfur conflict, which killed an estimated 300,000.
Last February, the Sudanese government – which took power after Al-Bashir was overthrown in April 2019 – announced its consent to the appearance of those wanted in court.
Al-Bashir, who has ruled the country for 30 years, is in Kober prison in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, where his trial is taking place. A first sentence was issued against him in a corruption case last December, and he was imprisoned for two years. Al-Bashir is on trial with 27 others for plotting the 1989 coup that toppled the then elected government.