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Sudan 'fully prepared' to cooperate with ICC over Darfur crimes trial, says PM Hamdok Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Sudan 'fully prepared' to cooperate with ICC over Darfur crimes trial, says PM Hamdok

Omar al-Bashir was toppled in April 2019 [AFP]

Date of publication: 23 August, 2020

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Sudan's prime minister cleared the way for ousted leader Omar al-Bashir and four other suspects to be extradited to the ICC for trial over war crimes in Darfur
Sudan will cooperate with the International Criminal Court's efforts to prosecute those wanted for war crimes and genocide in connection with the Darfur conflict, including the toppled former leader Omar al-Bashir, Sudanese prime minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Saturday.

Hamdok's pledge came during a televised address on the first anniversary of assuming the post of prime minister.

"The government is fully prepared to cooperate with the International Criminal Court to facilitate access to those accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity to achieve full justice to those who committed war crimes and genocide against our own people," he said.

Sudan's authorities have agreed to hand over al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court to face trial on charges of war crimes and genocide, in a deal with rebels to surrender all suspects wanted over the Darfur conflict.

For a decade after his indictment, al-Bashir confounded the court, which is based in The Hague.

He was not only out of reach during his 30 years in power in Khartoum, but he also travelled abroad frequently to visit friendly leaders without fear of arrest.

He even attended the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he kicked a soccer ball playfully during an airport welcome ceremony and watched matches from luxury seating.

The military overthrew al-Bashir in April 2019 amid massive public protests of his rule, and he has been jailed in Khartoum since then.

In the Darfur conflict, rebels from the territory's ethnic central and sub-Saharan African community launched an insurgency in 2003, complaining of oppression by the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum.

Read also: In Sudan, General Hemedti leads the fray

The government responded with a scorched-earth assault of aerial bombings and unleashed militias known as the Janjaweed, who are accused of mass killings and rapes.

Up to 300,000 people were killed and 2.7 million were driven from their homes.

Al-Bashir, 76, faces three counts of genocide, five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes for his alleged role in leading the deadly crackdown.

The indictments were issued in 2009 and 2010, marking the first time the global court had charged a suspect with genocide.

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