Sudanese authorities on Tuesday February 11, announced that it will be handing over its deposed President Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court to face genocide and war crimes charges.
Bashir will be facing a tribunal at The Hague to answer to charges that came off a conflict that broke out in Darfur in 2003 and led to the deaths of 300,000 people.
A senior government source who spoke to CNN after the announcement which was made amid peace talks between Sudan’s government and rebel groups from the Darfur region, said all Sudanese wanted by the ICC would be handed over.
Mohammed Hassan Eltaish, a spokesman for the Sudanese government said;
“Justice cannot be achieved if we don’t heal the wounds. We agreed that everyone who had arrest warrants issued against them will appear before the ICC. I’m saying it very clearly.”
Before the recent resolution, the ousted President refused to recognise the authority of the ICC when he was first charged for crimes in the region in 2009. The ICC issued two arrest warrants for Bashir, first in March 2009 and then in July 2010. It now considers him to be “at large.”
One of his lawyers told Reuters news agency that Bashir would continue to refuse to deal with the ICC, describing it as a “political court”.
76-year-old Bashir came into power in a military coup in 1989 and ruled Sudan with an iron fist. He ruled Sudan for three decades before being ousted in 2019. He was the first sitting president to be wanted by the ICC and the first person to be charged by the ICC for the crime of genocide.
In December 2019, the deposed President was sentenced to two years in a correctional facility after being found guilty of corruption and illegitimate possession of foreign currency.