Sudan will transfer several former leaders, including ousted ex-president Omar al-Bashir, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Al-Bashir is suspected of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes during the conflict in Darfur.
“The Council of Ministers has decided to transfer the wanted persons to the International Criminal Court,” Foreign Minister Mariam al-Mahdi said during a meeting with the court’s new chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, who was visiting the Sudanese capital. Khartoum.
War Crimes and Genocide
Al-Bashir, now 77, staged a military coup in 1989 and remained in power for decades as an authoritarian leader. He waged bloody ethnic wars in much of the country and has been wanted for years by the ICC for atrocities committed in the northwestern region of Darfur. According to the United Nations, about 300,000 people were killed, and 2.5 million inhabitants were expelled during that conflict.
Rebels vs Government
The war in Darfur broke out in 2003 when non-Arab rebels took up arms in charges of “systematic discrimination” by Bashir’s Arab-dominated government. The government responded with the creation of the ‘Janjaweed militia’, an army comprising, among others, the country’s nomadic peoples.
A peace deal was signed between the government and the rebels in October of last year, but violence remains ubiquitous in the region.