Sudan to expand cooperation with ICC on trial of Darfur war crime suspects


Khartoum, Aug 20 : Sudan's Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdelbari said the country will expand cooperation with the International Criminal Court (ICC) to ensure trial of those accused of war crimes in the Darfur region, including former President Omar al-Bashir. Six months ago, Sudan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ICC regarding the trial of Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, also known as Ali Kushayb, but the cooperation will expand to include three persons currently wanted by the court, including al-Bashir, former Interior Minister Ahmed Mohamed Haroun and former Defence Minister Abdul-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, Abdelbari said on Thursday. In the past years, the ICC issued arrest warrants against the three for allegedly committing genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Darfur, reports Xinhua news agency. Abdelbari said that the Justice Ministry has assigned personnel for the arrangements related to the cooperation with the ICC, under the decision by the Sudanese Council of Ministers to hand over the three suspects to justice. On August 12, the Sudanese government and the ICC signed another MoU on the provision of information and realization of justice for the victims of the conflict in the Darfur region. The ICC demands Sudan hand over al-Bashir and two of his senior aides for trial, accusing them of allegedly committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. On August 3, the Sudanese cabinet approved a draft law to join the ICC Rome Statute, but this law will not be effective until approved by the interim parliament. Kushayb was a member of the government's popular defence forces and commander of the Janjaweed militia in Darfur from August 2003 to March 2004. He served as a liaison between the government and the Janjaweed and allegedly participated in attacks against targeted groups. On February 27, 2007, the ICC charged Kushayb with crimes against civilians in Darfur during 2003 and 2004, accusing him of ordering killings, rapes, and looting. On April 27, 2007, the ICC issued an arrest warrant against him. Kushayb was transferred to the ICC on June 9, 2020, following his voluntary surrender to the authorities in the Central African Republic. The transitional authorities in Sudan, which were established after the ouster of al-Bashir in April 2019, have earlier expressed readiness to cooperate with the ICC regarding the trial of the suspects accused of committing crimes in Darfur. Khartoum is considering three options to try the suspects, including establishing a special court, a hybrid court of the government and the ICC, or handing them to the court. /IANS


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