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The ICC prosecutor arrives in Sudan to discuss the charges against Darfur

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Sudan’s official news agency says the International Criminal Court prosecutor has arrived in the capital to discuss co-operation with local authorities in bringing international fugitives to war crimes and genocide in the Darfur conflict.

CAIRO – The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor arrived in Sudan late Saturday to discuss co-operation with local authorities to bring to justice those wanted internationally for war crimes and genocide in the country’s conflict in Darfur, the official Sudanese news agency said.

The office of Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdoks said in a statement that ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and other court officials would stay in Sudan until Wednesday. This is Bensouda’s first announced visit to Sudan.

The ICC delegation will discuss methods of co-operation between the Government of Sudan and the ICC in relation to the suspects against whom the ICC has issued arrest warrants, read the statement, which did not mention the name of any of the suspects.

Among those wanted by the international court is former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been in prison in Khartoum since his ouster last year and is facing several trials in Sudanese courts over three decades of ruling his strong and the uprising that helped oust him.

Conflict in Sudan The Darfur region erupted when rebels from the territories of the central ethnic and sub-Saharan African community launched an uprising in 2003, complaining of repression by the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum.

The Al-Bashir government responded with a scorched earth campaign of airstrikes and released militias known as the Janjaweed, who are accused of mass murder and rape. As many as 300,000 people were killed and 2.7 million evicted from their homes.

The ICC charged al-Bashir, 76, with war crimes and genocide for allegedly campaigning attacks in Darfur. Sudanese prosecutors began their investigation into the Darfur conflict last week.

Also indicted by the court are two other senior figures in al-Bashir rule: Abdel-Rahim Muhammad Hussein, the interior and defense minister during much of the conflict, and Ahmed Haroun, a senior security chief in at that time and later the leader of al-al the ruling Bashirs Party. Both Hussein and Haroun have been under arrest in Khartoum since the Sudanese army, under pressure from protesters, ousted al-Bashir in April 2019.

The court also indicted rebel leader Abdullah Banda, whose whereabouts are unknown, and Janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb, who surrendered to authorities in neighboring Sudan’s Central African Republic in June before flying to The Hague to escape facing justice more than 13 years after ICC Judges issued an arrest warrant against him.

Sudan’s transitional government, which has promised democratic reforms and is led by a mix of civilian and military leaders, has previously said war crimes suspects including al-Bashir will be tried before the ICC, but the courtroom is a matter for negotiations with the Court based in The Hague.

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