Sudan's ousted dictator Omar al-Bashir 'must face international trial'

Sudan's ousted dictator Omar al-Bashir 'must face international trial for role in genocide, war crimes'
2 min read
16 August, 2019
Amnesty has urged Sudan’s military leaders to allow the deposed leader to be extradited to the ICC, which has wanted him on genocide and war crimes charges for 10 years.
The ICC issued a warrant for Omar al-Bashir in 2009 [Getty]

Amnesty International urged Sudan’s military rulers to hand over deposed autocrat Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court to stand trial for war crimes and genocide committed in Darfur.

The former president is due to start his trial on corruption charges in Khartoum on 18 August, however the process has already been condemned as a sham.

Al-Bashir, who was overthrown in April following mass protests against his 30-year rule, is facing charges of  possessing foreign currency, corruption and receiving gifts illegally. He was further charged with incitement and involvement in killing protesters on May 13.

The human rights organisation praised the trial as a “positive step towards accountability” for the crooked leader, however he is still wanted for “heinous crimes” committed against his own people.

“The Sudanese authorities must hand al-Bashir over to the International Criminal Court to answer charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity,” said Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Joan Nyanyuki.

“Omar al-Bashir has evaded justice for far too long as the victims of horrific crimes still wait for justice and reparations more than a decade since the ICC issued the first warrant for his arrest,” she added in a statement.

Nyanyuki demanded the country’s new leadership, likely a coalition between military leaders and opposition figures, to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which Sudan signed in 2000, which would obligate them to cooperate fully with the court.

The ICC first issued an arrest warrant for him a decade ago, making him one of the ICC longest-running indictees ever.

However Sudan's military rulers have said he would not be extradited to the court, located in The Hague.

The ICC warrant for Bashir includes five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes, murder, rape and torture.

An Amnesty International investigation in 2016 collected evidence of sustained use of suspected chemical weapons against civilians, including young children, by Sudanese government forces in the Jebel Marra region of Darfur. It says the scale of these attacks may also amount to war crimes.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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