ICC prosecutor in Sudan for talks on Darfur war crimes and trials

Oct 18, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Justice Fatou Bom Bensouda, the Gambiam lawyer who has served as the ICC prosecutor since June 2012, arrived in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on Saturday night, October 17, 2020.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bom Bensouda, Minister of Justice Nasreldin Abdelbari and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok meeting in Khartoum, Sudan on October 18, 2020(Photo credit: courtesy image/Hamdok twitter handle, customized by Nyamilepedia)

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bom Bensouda, Minister of Justice Nasreldin Abdelbari and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok meeting in Khartoum, Sudan on October 18, 2020(Photo credit: courtesy image/Hamdok twitter handle, customized by Nyamilepedia)

The visit by the ICC senior prosecutors was announced abruptly on Saturday by the office of the Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

“Today, Saturday, the seventeenth of October, a delegation from the International Criminal Court led by the Prosecutor General, Mrs Fatou Bensouda, will pay an official visit (to Sudan) until the twenty-first of this month, for talks with senior Sudanese officials”. Reads part of the memo.

The aims of the visit is to push for prosecutions of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur during the former president Omar Hassan al Bashir.

The chief prosecutor was received by the Sudanese Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice, Siham Osman and many other officials from the ministry of Justice and the office of the Attorney General.

Fatou and her delegation are expected to hold talks with the Sudanese authorities on how to bring justice to the victims of Darfur genocides that were committed by President Omar el Bashir and some former and current officials.

The ICC issued arrest warrant for Al-Bashir and two other senior officials, Ahmed Haroun and Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein, in 2009 and 2010 on charges of war crimes, genocides and crime against humanity in which over 300, 000 people were estimated to have died during Bashir’s regime revolt in Darfur.

The three ICC-charged officials were arrested in April when the Sudanese took to the streets and demanded the regime change.

Today, the ICC delegation met with the Minister of Justice Nasreldin Abdelbari and other government officials that include the powerful deputy president of the Sudan Transitional Council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who is one of the Bashir’s allies that led the operations in Darfur.

On his part, Dagalo said that the government will cooperate with the court which was also reiterated by the Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

“This historical visit is a testimony of the total reform of the new Sudan. Our commitment to achieving justice is not only an international one, but a direct response to deliver on the slogans of the December revolution” Prime Minister Hamdok tweeted on his twitter handle.


Although Bashir has already been sentenced to two years in prison on corruption charges and he is on trial for the 1989 military coup, the ICC delegation is expected to discuss cooperation on the former officials that include Al-Bashir, former minister Abdel Raheem and his former deputy Haroun.

Fatou has been vocal about the prosecution of the ICC Darfur suspects and in June she said the suspects can be arrainged either in Sudan or brought to the Hague for trial.

“To this end, pursuant to the principle of complementarity and my mandate as ICC Prosecutor, I reiterate that I welcome dialogue with the Government of Sudan, while reassuring victims of the atrocity crimes committed in Darfur of my steadfast commitment to ensuring that those responsible for atrocities in Darfur ultimately face justice,” Fatou was cited saying in June, 2020 during the UNSC meeting.

The Sudanese government has agreed to hand over the ICC Darfur suspects to the Hague for trial.

The ICC regrets that their investigations and trail of the suspects were obstructed by the former regime but now they are happy to take over such trials.

The international criminal, however, has deferred trial of Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, popularly known as Ali Kushayb, to June 2021 for the international criminal court to conduct its full investigation before the trial.

Gen. Ali Kushayb was a senior Janjaweed commander who supported the Sudanese government against Darfur rebel groups during the Omar al-Bashir presidency

The Gambiam lawyer, who is visiting Sudan for the first time, is highly criticized by the African leaders who are opposed to the idea of submitting African officials to the ICC that they believe has only been targetting the African leaders.

 

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