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  HOME PAGE 09/04/2020 03:53 
25.02.2020 17:42 News >> Al-Bashir's Handover Decision To ICC Divides Sudanese

Al-Bashir's Handover Decision To ICC Divides Sudanese

Earlier this month, Sudanese authorities said they agreed to hand over 4 officials, including al Bashir, to ICC.

By Mohammed Amin

A decision by Sudan's rulers to hand over former President Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC) has drawn mixed reactions in the country.

Earlier this month, Sudanese authorities said they agreed to hand over four officials, including al-Bashir, to face "genocide and war crime" charges in the western Darfur province.

The decision marks a major policy shift as Sudan refused any cooperation with the ICC during al-Bashir's rule, insisting that the court had no jurisdiction as Khartoum was not a signatory to the Rome Statue founding the ICC.

"There is no way for peace in Darfur unless justice is achieved," Ahmed Abakar, a refugee in South Darfur, told Anadolu Agency over the phone.

"The only way for justice is through the prosecution of all those wanted by The Hague."

Thousands of displaced people in several camps in Darfur staged a rally last week to celebrate the decision to hand over al-Bashir to the ICC.

"We don't trust the Sudanese court that has been dominated by the old regime and politicized by its agents," Abakar said.

Mohamed Musa, another refugee in West Darfur state, was also jubilant over the decision.

"We are celebrating this moment, but we are still worried that the government may back down on the decision, especially the military component in the transitional government as those generals were actually part of the old regime," he said.
Justice

The Sudanese Professional Association (SPA), which spearheaded protests that led to al-Bashir's ouster in April, said Sudanese laws were not fit to prosecute the former president and other "war criminals."
In a statement, SPA said the decision to hand over al-Bashir and other officials to the ICC was not against Sudan's sovereignty.

"The prosecution of [those involved] is very important for achieving justice and peace," it said.

Darfur was the scene of a ferocious war between the Sudanese government and three rebel movements since 2003. The conflict has left 300,000 people dead and around 2.5 million others displaced, according to UN figures.
Politicized

Supporters of the former president, however, decried the decision to hand over him to the ICC as illegal.

"Al-Bashir is a brave leader and still challenges that the court has no jurisdiction to try any Sudanese citizen," Mohamed al-Bashir, a brother of the former president, said.

"He still believes that the Sudanese judiciary is qualified enough to carry any investigation or trial of those involved in Darfur," he said.

The head of al-Bashir's defense team, for his part, described the handover decision as "political".

"We reiterate that it is impossible to hand over al-Bashir or any other Sudanese to this court because it's political and has no jurisdiction," Mohamed Hassan Alamin said.

"We believe that this is a political maneuver by the government," he said, citing previous statements by the head of the Sovereign Council, Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, in which he refused to hand over al-Bashir to the ICC.

"This is also against Sudan's sovereignty, the country's qualified and independent judicial system and the dignity of the Sudanese people and national army, which al-Bashir was its commander for three decades," he said.

Mohamed Ali, a member of "Supporters of Detainees" group, which rallies for the release of former officials, was also critical.

"Up from this month, we will organize demonstrations in all Sudanese states against this illegal, unconstitutional and unfair decision," he said. -



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