Sudan signals ex-dictator Omar al-Bashir to face International Criminal Court

KHARTOUM (BLOOMBERG) – Sudan indicated it may be ready to hand over toppled dictator Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court, which has indicted him on war crimes and genocide charges.

The pledge to surrender individuals wanted by the ICC was made Saturday (June 26) by Federal Affairs Minister Buthaina Dinar, who didn’t specifically name anyone. Bashir, who was overthrown in 2019 and later jailed for corruption, is wanted by The Hague-based court on charges related to the conflict in the western Sudanese region of Darfur.

Authorities have “generally decided on the handover of the criminals to the ICC,” but the court needs to resolve its procedures, Dinar told reporters in Khartoum, the capital. Some of the people wanted are already standing trial in Sudan on local charges, she said.

Cabinet Affairs Minister Khaled Omar Youssef also announced Saturday emergency cuts to spending, including halving the amount allocated to overseas trips and reducing budgets for embassies by 25 per cent.

Sudan is battling to revive an economy ravaged by mismanagement and sanctions under Bashir, who made the country a pariah in the West for much of his three-decade rule.

The North African nation may hear this week whether it’s eligible for special assistance under the International Monetary Fund and World Bank’s heavily indebted poor countries initiative that could help it clear much of its estimated US$60 billion (S$80 billion) of outstanding foreign debt.

The transitional government in Sudan, an uneasy combination of military and civilian officials, has previously said that members of the former regime indicted by the ICC would face the court, whether in the Netherlands or in their home country.

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