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El Burhan: ‘Sudan govt will not hand Al Bashir to ICC’

November 24 - 2019 KHARTOUM
Chairman of the Transitional Military Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan (File photo)
Chairman of the Transitional Military Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan (File photo)

The head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, says that the current government does not intend to transfer ousted President Omar Al Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) have sharply criticised a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), which asserts that fatal attacks on protestors in June “were planned and could amount to crimes against humanity”.

On Thursday, during an extensive interview with Al Jazeera Mubasher, El Burhan stressed that “the Sudanese judiciary is independent and enjoys the confidence of everyone to ensure the prosecution of anyone”.

HRW report

El Burhan said: “HRW is not authorised to make judgments regarding the killing of protesters because there are commissions formed for this purpose”.

The report asserts that the crimes committed against protesters in June can amount to crimes against humanity because they were carried out in systematic and organised manner. It also urged the Prime Minister to revise the commission that has been formed or to form other with a broader mandate.

The SAF described the HRW report as “biased, unprofessional and lacking credibility”.

Army spokesman Amer El Hasan rejected the findings of the report, stating that the authority had set up a commission of inquiry immediately after the events and that commission was followed by two others. “This confirms the government’s commitment to investigate the facts and hold those who are responsible to account.

“From a legal point of view, for the formed commission to do its work properly it should not be influenced by anyone, rather we should wait and see its outcome, he said. He went further and described the report as biased, unprofessional and lack credibility,” El Hasan said.

Al Bashir’s ruling party

El Burhan assured that the former ruling National Congress Party is not allowed to operate during this transitional phase. He further stated that the Public Prosecution is responsible for the fate of the former regime officials who have been arrested over the last months.

“The greatest achievement so far is the overthrow of Al Bashir’s regime. Therefore it is unfair to judge the government within three months,” he said.

Peace talks

The chairman of the Sovereign Council further asserted that Sudan does not need international mediation to solve the its problems and that South Sudan is merely a negotiating platform.

He also stressed that there are ongoing consultations with the armed movements, explaining that the peace process is entrusted to the Supreme Peace Council, which consists of members of the Sovereign Council, the Council of Ministers, and the Forces of Freedom and Change.

Regional issues

El Burhan denied sending any paramilitary troops to Libya. “We are not a party in the conflict in Libya and no one asked us to send our troops there”, he said.

As for Yemen, he said that “We will remain in the coalition until its objectives are achieved and our forces will not leave Yemen before they complete their tasks or the coalition decides otherwise.”

He confirmed a separate budget for the Rapid Support Forces (RSF, Sudan's main government militia) is separate, but said that after the regime changed, the “RSF became part of the Sudanese Armed Forces and operating under its command”.

El Burhan further stated that Halayeb and Shalatin are Sudanese towns, “but we have not discussed this issue with the Egyptian authorities yet”.

Sanctions

El Burhan explained that the US delay to remove Sudan from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism has frustrated the Sudanese people. He emphasised that there is no link between removing Sudan from terrorism lists and the presence of military personnel in power in Sudan.


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