Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda on Wednesday urged the Sudanese government to hand over those accused of committing war crimes in Darfur to the ICC.
Bensouda made the demand at a press conference in Sudan’s capital Khartoum after concluding a visit to Darfur. A team of the ICC investigators would arrive in Sudan in the coming period to collect further field evidences, she said.
Bensouda further urged the victims to communicate and cooperate with the ICC investigators when they come to Sudan, stressing protection for the witnesses who testify before the court.
During 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012, the ICC issued arrest warrants against former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, former defense minister Abdul-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, former interior minister Ahmed Mohamed Haroun and around 21 other government officials for allegedly committing genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region.
The transitional authorities in Sudan, which were established after the ouster of al-Bashir in April 2019, have earlier expressed readiness to cooperate with the ICC regarding the file of the suspects of committing crimes in Darfur, which has been suffering from a civil war since 2003.
Khartoum is considering three options to try the suspects of committing crimes in Darfur, including establishing a special court, a hybrid court of the government and the ICC or handing them to the ICC.