Sudan’s former president, Omar Al-Bashir, will be handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, the new government has decided.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Maryam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi said on Wednesday that Khartoum decided to extradite the former president and two of his assistants to the ICC for committing genocide in Darfur.
The United States welcomed the decision as Sudan transitions toward a more democratic system.
“Doing so would be a major step for Sudan in the fight against decades of impunity,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a news conference.
“We urge Sudan to continue to cooperate with the ICC by handing over those subject to arrest warrants and by cooperating on the provision of the request of evidence.”
Bashir has been imprisoned in Sudan since 2019 after a popular uprising led to his overthrow and arrest. He will face a trial in The Hague after the Sudanese Council of Ministers endorsed the Rome Statute of the ICC.
The Transitional Sovereignty Council, which is the current highest authority in Sudan and includes civilians and military, has been tasked with managing the nation’s transitional period. The council, after taking power in February 2020, has promised that Bashir would appear before the ICC. In Sudan, he is being tried for carrying out a military coup against the regime in June 1989.
Under Bashir, Sudan welcomed terrorists, and he himself had good relations with several Islamic terrorist organization such as including Hamas, ISIS and the Taliban. At the time Sudan was considered a haven for such terrorist groups and their members.
After his overthrow, the transitional government made rulings against terrorists in Sudan and signed a normalization agreement with Israel. In exchange, Sudan was removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism and was exempted from debts that had accumulated from the previous regime.