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Sudan’s Sovereign Council Agrees to Hand Over Bashir for Trial


FILE - Sudan's former president Omar Hassan al-Bashir stands guarded inside a cage at the courthouse where he is facing corruption charges, in Khartoum, Sudan, Aug. 19, 2019.

Sudan’s ruling council has agreed to hand over former president Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court. The government says it's part of efforts to achieve justice and sustain peace in the Darfur region. Khartoum Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council says it has agreed with Darfur rebel groups on four mechanisms to sustain peace in Darfur.

Handing over former president Omar al-Bashir and three top aides to the International Criminal Court is the first one.

Sovereign Council member Mohamed al-Ta’aishi addressed reporters Tuesday in South Sudan’s capital.

Al-Ta’aishi says they agreed to put everyone who has arrest warrants on trial at the ICC. Ta’aishi adds it’s not possible to achieve justice unless it’s cured the pain with justice itself. He says they can’t deny that crimes against humanity and war crimes were committed against innocents in Darfur.

Bashir and other officials from the former ruling party have been in prison since the military ousted Bashir last April.

A Sudanese court has sentenced Bashir to two years detention on corruption charges. But many Sudanese demanded Bashir and other former high officials be sent to the ICC.

The court in The Hague has charged Bashir with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for his government’s actions during the war in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Pro-Bashir forces allegedly tried to destroy entire ethnic groups as they battled a rebellion in Darfur that began in 2003.

The joint military-civilian Sovereign Council, established last August, has been negotiating with rebels to put an end to the long-running war.

It was not immediately clear when Bashir or the other three Sudanese nationals wanted by the ICC might be handed over. A member of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement told VOA on Tuesday that the government and Darfur rebels must first reach a final peace agreement.