Darfur Bar Association welcomes new ICC prosecutor

The Darfur Bar Association welcomed the visit of the new prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Assad Khan, to Khartoum, on Monday.

AlTaghyeer-Khartoum-Aladdin Musa

The head of the Darfur Bar Association, al-Sadiq al-Sindkali, told AlTaghyeer that the ICC Public Prosecutor’s visit to Khartoum will continue in the vein of his predecessor Fatou Bensouda.

Last June, Bensouda visited the country and met the leadership of the transitional government, which pledged to hand over the Omar al-Bashir – the ousted Sudanese president – and the rest of the wanted persons to the ICC.

Al-Sindakali said that Khan will discuss the Sudanese government’s announced pledges to hand over ousted al-Bashir the others.

He pointed out that further ICC-related cases will be present, coinciding with statements made by militia leader Ali Kushayb, who spoke about the involvement of others with him –beside Ahmed Haroun– such as the former governor of West Darfur state Jaafar Abdel Hakam.

Al-Sindkali also stressed that the extradition of the deposed has nothing to do with the passage of a law or the ratification of the Rome Statute relating to the International Criminal Court.

Noting that the extradition of al-Bashir remains binding as Sudan is a member of the United Nations.

“The investigation was carried out under the referral of United Nations Resolution 1593, and the international committee headed by Judge Cassese came to Sudan and investigated, with the knowledge of its [Sudan’s] government,” Sindkali said.

“The value of ratifying the Rome Statute and joining the International Criminal Court is to confirm Sudan’s respect for the court, respect for its decisions, and cooperation regarding crimes under investigation before the court, or ones that have are yet to be referred.”

Ratification of the Rome Statute

Last Tuesday, the Sudanese Council of Ministers approved a draft law to join the Rome Statute established the International Criminal Court.

Al-Sindakali explained that Sudan joining the Rome statute obliges the Public Prosecution in Sudan and the judicial authorities to cooperate with the court’s prosecutor regarding the serious crimes committed that fall within Court’s jurisdiction.

He indicated it also makes the official agencies, which he accused of practicing murder and crimes against humanity, in the court’s eyesight, thereby reducing the possibility of grave human rights violations, as had happened before in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, and the Blue Nile.

The court, based in the Dutch city of The Hague, issued two arrest warrants for Bashir in 2009 and 2010, accusing him of masterminding atrocities committed during his campaign to crush a rebellion in the Darfur region.

Sudan’s civilian government, which shares power with the army during a three-year transitional period, struck a peace deal with former rebels in Darfur last year.

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