Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, the ICC and the future of peace

Sudanese security forces stand on guard as protesters gather during a demonstration in the centre of Sudan's capital Khartoum towards the prime minister's offices on November 30, 2019, calling upon authorities to deliver justice to those killed in previous protests against the now-ousted autocrat Omar al-Bashir. PHOTO | ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP.

What you need to know:

  • There were reports earlier this week that Khartoum would hand over al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
  • Many say the time has come for Al-Bashir to finally face the law and for his victims in all corners of Sudan to get their overdue justice at long last.
  • Many Sudanese people from the areas that were terrorised by his security forces have said that trying him in Sudan would be a slap in the face of all these victims and their communities, for they cannot be confident that there won’t be Sudanese judges who might rig the process in his favour.
  • But Many activists argue that trying al-Bashir at home would be the litmus test to both the political will of the leaders who have taken over the reins of power from him and the functioning of the Sudanese institutions of justice.

There were reports earlier this week that the Sudanese transitional government that took over the reins of power from the former dictator, Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir, has reached a peace agreement with various rebel movements that have been fighting against Khartoum for decades. One of the points in this agreement is for Khartoum to hand over al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, to answer to charges of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, including rape and torture in the Darfur region of Sudan from 2003 to 2008. Mr Bashir is accused of having a direct role as the supreme commander of Sudan’s armed forces in directing these atrocities. He was charged back in 2009, the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC, and had been a wanted man ever since, only escaping arrest through unwillingness of a number of countries to arrest and hand him over.

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