World Sudan's premier backs demands for justice as ICC prosecutor visits
Sudan offers support to ICC over Darfur war crimes cases
Sudan's Prime Minster Abdalla Hamdok on Sunday promised cooperation with International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda as she gathered information on war crimes in Darfur. State news agency SUNA said Bensouda's visit focused on two items -- discussing cooperation between the ICC and Sudan's judiciary, and "gathering information" related to the case of Ali Kushayb. Militia leader Kushayb, a top commander of the government-backed Janjaweed forces accused of carrying out some of the worst atrocities in Darfur, surrendered to the ICC in June, and is now in custody.
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Sunday his government was committed to achieving justice as an International Criminal Court (ICC) delegation visited for the first time since the overthrow of ex-leader Omar al-Bashir.
The ICC issued arrest warrants against Bashir in 2009 and 2010 on charges of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity during his campaign to crush a revolt in Darfur in which an estimated 300,000 people died.
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President Donald Trump announced Monday that he intends to lift Sudan's state sponsor of terrorism designation -- news that comes as the transitional government in Khartoum could deliver him a diplomatic victory ahead of the US presidential election. © Alex Brandon/AP President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Muskegon County Airport, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, in Norton Shores, Mich.
The delegation, led by Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, arrived in Sudan late on Saturday to discuss the cases of Bashir and two other former officials wanted by ICC.
Bensouda also met the powerful deputy leader of Sudan's ruling council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who said the government was willing to cooperate with the court, state news agency SUNA reported.
Though Sudanese transitional authorities have said they will work with the ICC for those accused of war crimes to appear before the tribunal, it is unclear where and how hearings would take place.
Bashir and the two other former officials, Ahmed Haroun and Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein, were jailed after the uprising that led to Bashir's overthrow in April last year.
"Sudan's commitment to achieving justice is not only part of international obligations, but also comes in response to popular demands to establish justice," a cabinet statement cited Hamdok as saying as he met the ICC delegation.
Bashir has already been sentenced to two years in prison on corruption charges and is currently on trial over the military coup in which he took power in 1989.
His lawyer has denounced the various charges against the former president as politically motivated.
Hamdok's civilian government is working under a military-civilian ruling council during a three-year transition that is meant to lead to elections.
(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Mahmoud Mourad; editing by Aidan Lewis and Kirsten Donovan)
Sudanese split over normalising relations with Israel .
Sudan's move to normalise relations with Israel has laid bare deep splits within society, with some bashing the deal as betrayal and others as a way to rescue the devastated economy. The move -- announced Friday -- came shortly after US President Donald Trump declared that Washington was formally moving to delist Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism, a designation that strangled Khartoum's economy for decades. But the announcement revealed divisions between political forces in Sudan, currently undergoing a rocky transition since the April 2019 ouster of strongman Omar al-Bashir following mass protests against his three-decade rule.