Sudan: ICC Prosecutor Says Omar Al-Bashir Must Be Tried Over Darfur Conflict

The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor has said Sudan’s former President Omar al-Bashir and other suspects wanted by the court over alleged war crimes and genocide in Darfur must face justice without further delay, reported Anadolu Agency.

On Tuesday, the ICC’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said they are discussing options for prosecuting the accused, including a trial in Sudan and a hybrid tribunal established between Sudan and the ICC, with Sudanese authorities.

“We are seeing what is possible,” she said. “They must all face justice without further delay.”

During the press conference, Bensouda said that the Sudanese authorities have committed to fully cooperate with the ICC.  

“A Memorandum of Understanding on the modalities of cooperation, technical visits and immediate access to Sudan by our investigators amongst other action points were discussed, and we look forward to making timely progress on all of these issues,” she said.  

Bensouda said the court will send more investigators to Sudan to continue the probe.

The international court had previously issued arrest warrants against al-Bashir and three other Sudanese suspects on charges of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.

The conflict in Darfur, in the west of Sudan, escalated from 2003 when mainly non-Arab rebels took up arms against al-Bashir’s government, resulting in a campaign of repression by the army and mostly-Arab armed groups. According to the United Nations, over 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed and 2.5 million displaced.

Al-Bashir, who has been Sudan’s president since 1989, was ousted by the military in April 2019 after months of mass protests against his rule. In December, a Sudanese court sentenced the former president to two years in prison over corruption charges. He is also facing charges of undermining the country’s constitution over the 1989 military coup.

Earlier this year, Sudan’s transitional government agreed to hand over al-Bashir to the ICC for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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