Sudan to hand Bashir to ICC for Darfur crimes
Khartoum: Sudan has agreed to hand ousted autocrat Omar al-Bashir and others to the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur, a member of Khartoum’s ruling body said Tuesday. The Hague-based ICC has charged Bashir and three of his former aides with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Sudan’s western region during a devastating conflict from 2003. “Those who have been indicted by the ICC, they have to go there,” Mohamed Hassan Al-Taishay, a member of the ruling sovereign council, said in a statement. “One of them is Al-Bashir and (there are) three others,” he later told journalists in the South Sudanese capital of Juba, where a government delegation was meeting rebel groups from Darfur. “We agreed that we fully supported the ICC and we agreed… that the four criminals have to be handed over,” Taishay said. “We fully supported the claim that the ICC wanted them and they have to be handed over.” He did not specify when the decision would be carried out. Taishay said the Juba talks, still ongoing, focused on justice and reconciliation in Darfur, where the United Nations says about 300,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since the conflict erupted. Taishay said they had agreed several mechanisms for achieving peace in Darfur, including the establishment of a special court to investigate crimes in the region. But “first, all those who have been indicted by the ICC should appear before the ICC,” he said. ‘Rule based on justice’ A member of the rebel delegation in Juba also confirmed the move. “We have agreed with the sovereign council in Khartoum to rule Sudan based on justice, especially on issues related to the ICC,” Nimir Mohamed Abdurahman told reporters. The conflict in Darfur, the size of France, erupted when ethnic minority African rebels took up arms against Bashir’s then Arab-dominated government, accusing it of marginalising the region economically and politically. – AFP