Omar al-Bashir will have to appear before the tribunal of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, to answer for war crimes and genocide in the Darfur region.
This was established by the government of Sudan, which has agreed to hand over the former president along with two other former members of his government to the organs of international justice. This was confirmed to the press on August 11 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sudan, Mariam al-Mahdi, after the meeting in Khartoum with the new prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
Twelve years after the indictment and arrest warrant for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated in the Sudanese region of Darfur, which are estimated to have caused 300,000 deaths and more than 2.5 million displaced persons, a sensational breakthrough makes it possible to bring to trial one of Africa’s bloodiest autocrats, who is now in prison in Khartoum.
The mission of the new Hague Court prosecutor to Sudan, where he met with the president of the Sovereign Council, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and his deputy, Mohammad Hamdan Daglo, was crowned with success. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok commented on the news stating that Sudan’s commitment to the pursuit of justice stems not only from a desire to meet its international commitments but also and above all from “an answer to the questions of the Sudanese people.”
The decision was taken after the Sudanese government, last week, ratified the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court, signed in 1998 by 72 countries and subsequently by another 139, with the ratification of 123 nations. This step has resolved the bureaucratic obstacles that hindered the action of the Sudanese government, opening the door for referral.
It is unclear at this time whether Sudan’s former president will be extradited to The Hague or tried in Sudan by the court itself, in Kober prison, where he is currently being held after his arrest in 2019.
Along with al-Bashir, former Defense Minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein and the former governor of the South Kordofan region, Ahmed Haroun, who were also arrested in 2019 and held in Kober prison, will also be tried.