Sudan’s Sovereign Council and government have announced that they will be fully operating with the International Criminal Court (ICC), who will charge former Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir with charges of genocide for his role in the Darfur.
The announcement came earlier this week as the government maintained that the ICC would be one among four mechanisms dedicated to achieving transition justice in Darfur. Human Rights Watch (HRW) notes that this includes “a special criminal court and truth and reconciliation in Sudan”.
Former President Al-Bashir has been accused by the ICC of three counts of genocide; five counts of crimes against humanity; and, two counts of war crimes. The ICC’s charges are based upon horrific abuses in Darfur from 2003 to 2008 which include, rape, mass extermination, forcible transfers and pillaging. According to HRW’s research, senior leadership in Sudan was directly responsible for the government’s abuses of power in its counterinsurgency strategy.
In April 2019, Al-Bashir was deposed from the government after several months of protests which were in response to hundreds being killed in December 2018. Alongside Al-Bashir, HRW notes that the ICC has issued arrest warrants for;
“Ahmed Haroun, former state minister for humanitarian affairs and former governor of Southern Kordofan state; Abdulraheem Mohammed Hussein, the former defense minister; Ali Kosheib, a militia leader; and Abdallah Banda Abakaer, leader of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement in Darfur”.
HRW has welcomed the Sudanese transitional government’s decision in its cooperation with the ICC. General Abel Fattah al-Burhan, who chairs the Sovereign Council, told HRW;
“We agreed no one is above the law, and that people will be brought to justice, be it in Sudan or outside Sudan with the help of the ICC”.
Read HRW’s statement here.