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PM Hamdok pledges Sudan’s support for ICC

August 12 - 2021 KHARTOUM
The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan QC, who is on a week-long visit to Sudan, met with the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok yesterday (Photo: ICC)
The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan QC, who is on a week-long visit to Sudan, met with the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok yesterday (Photo: ICC)

The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan QC, who is on a week-long visit to Sudan, has been assured of support for the ICC at all levels, during meetings with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, the deputy chair of the Transitional Sovereignty Council (TRC) Gen Mohamed Hamdan (Hemeti), Attorney General Mubarak Mahmoud, TRC members, and international representatives to Sudan.

Khan and his delegation were received by PM Hamdok on Wednesday, during which Hamdok affirmed the government’s commitment to achieving justice as one of the slogans of the December revolution, stating in this regard that “Sudan’s commitment to achieve justice is not only a matter of international obligations, but rather comes in response to popular demands for the establishment of justice and the implementation of the glorious revolution’s slogans”.

PM Hamdok indicated that the visit of the ICC delegation is evidence of the change resulting from the comprehensive reform processes in the new Sudan.

In a press statement via the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA), the PM’s Advisor for International Partnerships, Omar Gamareldin, said that the ICC prosecutor briefed the Prime Minister on the call of the ICC for handing the indicted persons, including the ousted president Omar Al Bashir, and explained that the trial of Ali Kushayb will begin shortly after the court’s decision that there was sufficient evidence to bring him to trial.

'The visit of the ICC delegation is evidence of the change resulting from the comprehensive reform processes in the new Sudan' - PM Abdallah Hamdok

ICC office in Sudan

The statement says that Khan asked Hamdok and the government to expedite the steps to opening an office of the ICC in Sudan, and told him that he will return to Sudan after submitting his report to the UN Security Council in December.

The Prime Minister assured Khan that Sudan will cooperate in transparency with the International Criminal Court, and that Sudan is about to sign and ratify the Rome Statute shortly.

ICC prosecutor Khan and Sudan’s Attorney General Mubarak Mahmoud, met to review cooperation with the ICC concerning the war crimes and the elements of the defunct regime wanted by the ICC.

Prosecutor Khan also met with the head of the United Nations Integrated Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes who, in statements via social media, described Khan’s visit as “significant”.

Perthes added that “[the] trial of indictees needs support on the ground for investigations. ICC can help with establishment of Special Court for Darfur. Accountability critical for peace process.”

Prosecutor Khan’s delegation, which arrived in Khartoum on Monday, also includes Senior Prosecutor, Julian Nichols, the Advisor to the Prosecutor General, Thomas Lynch, and Counsellor for International Cooperation at the Office of the Prosecution, Dahiro Sant Anna.

The head of the United Nations Integrated Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes.
meets with the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, Karim Khan QC (Picture: ICC)

 

ICC cooperation

In a ‘unanimous decision’ on July 24, Sudan’s Cabinet pledged to hand former officials indicted for war crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Earlier this month, the Council of Ministers constituting Sudan’s Cabinet unanimously passed a draft law for Sudan to accede to and ratify the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Warrant of arrest

The ICC issued arrest warrants against former Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Ahmed Haroun, and Kushayb in 2007. Kushayb was transferred to the ICC’s custody on June 9, 2020 after surrendering himself voluntarily in the Central African Republic. Upon his arrest, the Sudanese government announced its support for his transfer to the ICC. Kushayb is also charged with a number of crimes by the Sudanese authorities.

In February 2020, Sudanese authorities also agreed that deposed dictator Omar Al Bashir, Ahmed Haroun, and former Defence Minister Abdelrahim Hussein will be transferred to The Hague to face justice. Al Bashir was indicted by the ICC in 2009 for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, and in 2010 for genocide. He was convicted of corruption by a Khartoum court in December 2019 and sentenced to two years in a prison for the elderly. He still faces various other charges in Sudan, including staging a military coup in 1989. Hussein was officially accused in 2012 of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.
 

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