20 June 2019

Sudan Refuses to Transfer Al-Bashir to ICC

Khartoum — SUDAN has officially declined to hand over ousted president, Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for trial over alleged war crimes.

The country's envoy to the United Nations (UN) told the Security Council the former leader and his co-accused would only be tried in the country next week.

The defiance follows a divisive Security Council meeting during which ICC prosecutor, Fatou, Bensouda, demanded the transfer of al-Bashir. Some countries backed the call while others denounced it.

"Now is the time for the people of Sudan to choose law over impunity and ensure that suspects in the Darfur situation finally face justice," Bensouda said.

She said following al‑Bashir's ouster in April, Sudan had an opportunity to depart from its policy of non‑cooperation and signal a new commitment to accountability for the victims of violence.

al‑Bashir has been arrested and charged with offences including corruption, alongside two other suspects -- Abdel Raheem Hussein and Ahmad Harun.

China and Russia are among countries that opposed the transfer of al-Bashir and co-accused to the ICC. Belgium, France and the United Kingdom are advocating for his trial.

Sudan representative, Elsadig Ahmed, argued the country insisted the deposed leader would not be handed over.

The envoy said his country was not party to the Rome Statute and the ICC was not an organ of the UN.

"We are not obliged towards the Court," Ahmed said.

He said the Public Prosecutor had started investigations on al‑Bashir, Hussain and Harun ahead of a trial before a national judiciary next week.

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