Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Saturday said the government is ready to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute those wanted for war crimes and genocide in connection with the Darfur conflict, a list that includes ousted President Omar al-Bashir, reported Reuters.
Hamdok made the pledge in a televised address on the anniversary of his ascent to office.
“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 ousted former leader Bashir, who was toppled last year following months of mass protests, to the ICC in connection with alleged war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur in a conflict that killed an estimated 300,000 people and forced over 2.7 million to flee from their homes. Bashir has been in jail in Khartoum since his ousting.
The 76-year-old 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 Sudanese transitional government, a three-year joint civilian-military arrangement led by Hamdok, reached a deal with rebel groups in February that all five Sudanese ICC suspects should appear before the court. But this is the first time that the Sudanese Prime Minister Hamdok had publicly affirmed Sudan’s position.
The government is close to a peace deal with some rebel groups active in Darfur. The government and some of the rebels are expected to initial an agreement on Aug. 28.
During his TV address, Hamdok also said that the Sudanese government had come a long way towards being removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.