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Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council: Al Bashir might not physically stand trial in The Hague

February 16 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Bashir in court in Sudan (file photos (RD)
Bashir in court in Sudan (file photos (RD)

The Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Abdelfattah El Burhan has clarified that the appearance of Al Bashir and other suspected persons before the ICC does not necessary mean they will stand trial at the court in The Hague. He also confirmed that Israel is playing a significant role in removing Sudan from the US State Sponsors of Terrorism list.

On Friday, in an interview with the London-based newspaper Al Sharq Al Awsat in Khartoum, El Burhan stated that his meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Uganda was highly welcomed by the Sudanese people except for the ideologist political groups. He also clarified that his meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu based on the pursues of Sudan for its national security and interests.

He affirmed that the ICC suspected persons of war crimes and crimes against humanity will appear before the International Criminal Court, however, that does not mean they will stand trial at the ICC in The Hague.

In the interview with the London-based Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper, El Burhan clarified that the trial place and procedure are subject to review and negotiation between the Sudanese authorities and their partners.

El Burhan further explained that he will work to achieve the interests of Sudan whenever it is possible. “The Cabinet will handle the arranging for future contacts with Israel to enhancing the diplomatic relations between the two countries as soon as they agree to do so. A small committee has been formed regarding the possibility of the bilateral relationship with Israel,” he revealed.

He further stated that he is planning to visit the United States to meet his counterpart President Donald Trump soon. He also said that King Salman bin Abdelaziz has invited him to visit Saudi Arabia Riyadh.

Regarding the recent request of Prime Minister Hamdok for an international peace support mission in Sudan, El Burhan explained that they are making some adjustments to the proposal because Sudan is in need for the assistance of the United Nations.

El Burhan also explained that the exchange of Sudanese prisoners with the Houthis; in any war, it is expected to have detainees or POWs between the parties involved. “Hence we will certainly bring them home,” he said. However, he conditioned the return of the Sudanese armed force from Yemen on the political changes on the ground.

He expressed his hope regarding the ongoing peace negotiations in Juba. “We are hoping for a comprehensive peace agreement that can put an end to the suffering of the Sudanese people. The peace negotiations are going very well and there has been a breakthrough in several fundamental issues,” he said. “Ending the war and achieving lasting peace is the greatest and most difficult task facing the transitional period,” he added.

On February 11, Radio Dabanga reported that the deposed Sudanese dictator Omar Al Bashir and others indicted for war crimes and genocide by the International Criminal Court will be transferred to The Hague to face justice. Government negotiators made this concession to the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance during peace talks on the Darfur track in the South Sudan capital of Juba yesterday.

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