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Sudan to let ICC try Bashir for genocide


Khartoum, Sudanese government has decided to let the International Criminal Court (ICC) try former president of Sudan Omar al-Bashir on charges of genocide and war crime. Bashir is accused of ordering a systematic killing of thousands of people when a conflict that broke out in Darfur in 2003. It is believed that nearly 3,00,000 people, mostly civilians, died in that conflict.

The Sudanese authorities agreed that the former president and all those charged by the ICC should appear at The Hague to face trial. The Sudanese government agreed to Bashir's handing over Bashir and others after holding peace talks with the rebel groups from the Darfur region. The handing over of Bashir was one of the preconditions for the peace deal with the rebels.

"Justice cannot be achieved if we don't heal the wounds," said Mohammed Hassan al-Taishi, a spokesman for the Sudanese government. He further said that "no one is above the law, and it is the will of the people to hand over Bashir". According to a BBC report Bashir will be handed over to the ICC along with three other people.

Mr Taishi is a civilian member of Sudan's sovereign council, which also includes powerful military leader. The body is overseeing the country's transition to democracy. The surrender of former President Bashir is, in fact, something that Sudan's top military general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan alluded to at a meeting in December with victims of the Darfur conflict.

Bashir, has consistently refused to recognise the authority of the ICC ever since he was first charged by it in 2009. He was ousted as president in April last year after widespread protests broke out in the country. On Tuesday, one of the lawyers defending Bashir said the former president will continue to refuse to deal with the ICC, describing it as a "political court".

According to the UN in addition to those killed in fighting between local armed groups, and Bashir's forces and the government-backed militia - such as the infamous Janjaweed - around 2.5 million people were displaced in the civil war. Warrants for Bashir's arrest were issued first in 2009 and then again in 2010 by the ICC. Bashir, 76, came to power in a military coup in 1989 and ruled Sudan with an iron fist.

In December, he was sentenced to two years in a social reform facility for corruption. Under Sudanese law, people over the age of 70 cannot serve jail terms.
Prosecutors in Sudan have also charged him with the killing of protesters during the demonstrations that led to his ouster. Bashir has denied all allegations against him.

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