World In Sudan, ICC prosecutor says al-Bashir must be tried over Darfur
Sudan’s PM sacks Kassala governor after unrest, port blockade
Abdulla Hamdok fired Saleh Ammar, a member of the Beni Amr tribe, following weeks of clashes with the rival Beja tribe. He was barred from entering Kassala and remained in the capital, Khartoum, before the protests escalated in August leaving at least three dead and dozens more injured. Tensions have since been running high in the region. Port Sudan on the Red Sea port reopened last week after a three-day blockade by Beja protesters about an October 3 peace deal in which they said their tribe was sidelined.
Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and other suspects wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes and genocide in Darfur must face justice without further delay, the court’s chief prosecutor, currently on a visit to Khartoum, has said.
Options for prosecuting them, including a trial in Sudan and a hybrid tribunal, were being discussed with Sudanese authorities, Fatou Bensouda told reporters on Tuesday.
ICC delegation heading to Sudan to discuss case against al-Bashir
Former president has been indicted by the ICC for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.Al-Bashir, who was being held in jail in Khartoum after being removed by the military in April last year following months-long protests against his rule, is wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur, in a conflict that began in 2003 and killed an estimated 300,000 people.
“We are seeing what is possible,” she said. “They must all face justice without further delay.”
The ICC has outstanding arrest warrants against al-Bashir and three other Sudanese suspects on charges of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Al-Bashir has previously denied the charges.
The conflict in Darfur, in the west of Sudan, escalated from 2003 when mainly non-Arab rebels took up arms against al-Bashir’s government, triggering a campaign of repression by the army and mostly-Arab armed groups.
More than 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed and 2.5 million displaced, according to the United Nations.
The 76-year-old former president is in custody in Khartoum’s tough Kober prison after being removed by the military in April last year following months-long protests against his rule. He was convicted last December for corruption and is now on trial in Khartoum for the 1989 coup that brought him to power.
Sudan, ICC explore options for ousted Bashir to face Darfur trial
Sudan said Monday that talks with the International Criminal Court have covered options ranging from a handover to forming a hybrid court to try ousted president Omar al-Bashir over the Darfur conflict. "These options include handing (them) over, appearance (before the court), forming a hybrid court or a special court following consultations with state institutions and families of the victims," he said.The options have been discussed during a visit to Khartoum since Saturday by ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda aimed at putting to trial those accused in the conflict that cost hundreds of thousands of lives.
If convicted, al-Bashir and 27 other co-accused could face the death penalty.
Al-Bashir’s legal team has repeatedly denounced the charges against the former president as politically motivated.
Bensouda said she was encouraged by meetings with senior officials from the transitional authorities who assumed power after al-Bashir’s overthrow, adding that she discussed with the officials access for investigators to probe alleged atrocities in Darfur.
“I particularly welcomed the assurances of support and cooperation expressed to me by the authorities during this visit,” Bensouda said. “We look forward to making timely progress on all of these items,” she added, describing her visit to Sudan as “historic”.
The ICC delegation led by Bensouda has been in Sudan since October 17 and is expected to remain in the country until Wednesday.
Sudan’s transitional government has agreed that al-Bashir would stand trial before the ICC. However, in a peace deal finalised earlier this month, the government agreed to set up a special court for crimes in Darfur and said al-Bashir should also face that court.
In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said he had spoken with the ICC about the option of trying al-Bashir in Sudan, potentially in a “hybrid court”.
Other than al-Bashir, several of his aides also face accusations of committing atrocities in Darfur, including former South Kordofan governor Ahmed Haroun and ex-Defence Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein.
Both are in custody in Sudan.
In June, Ali Kushayb, the head of the Popular Defence Forces accused of carrying out some of the worst atrocities in Darfur, surrendered to the ICC and is now in custody.
A fifth man, rebel leader Abdallah Banda, is wanted by the ICC but remains at large.
Sudanese in Israel fear being returned after normalisation .
Sudanese asylum seekers living in Israel fear being kicked out once ties are normalised between the two countries, though some hope their presence will be seen as an advantage. Israel counts a Sudanese population of around 6,000, mostly asylum seekers. Thousands of others left or were forced to return after Sudan split in 2011 when South Sudan won its independence -- only for the fledgling country to plunge into civil war.Some of the Sudanese -- often labelled as "infiltrators" for crossing illegally into Israeli territory before being granted permission to stay -- were minors when they arrived.