ICC and Sudan’s Judiciary

Muawad Mustafa Rashid

The recent visit of the ICC Chief Prosecutor, Karim Khan to Sudan revealed that the government will not decide before next week at the earliest whether to hand over former President Omar Al Bashir to the International Criminal Court to face charges of atrocities in the Darfur conflict.

The Sovereign Council must approve measures on joining the court and handing over suspects before Bashir can be turned over.

Khan plans to visit Darfur in November and submit a report on progress to the UN Security Council.

The transitional government has indeed emphasized the importance of ratifying the Rome Statute concerning the International Criminal Court.

It is also true that the transactional government announced since its formation that it will cooperate with the ICC and hand all the indicted persons including the ousted president Omer Al

Bashir, but some of the military members in the transitional government reject the idea of handing any Sudanese to the ICC.

Let us ask about the role of the Sudanese judiciary in this regard.

The Sudanese judiciary kept silent before and after the revolution and never commented on the issue.

This might be due to the absence of an agreed-on chief prosecutor or due to unforeseen intensive impact of concerned circles

However, the embarrassing question remains, is the Sudanese judiciary unable to or doesn’t want to play its role towards the continuous arrest warrants and sending the indicted persons to the ICC.

The dossier of the indicted officials could have been resolved in the first days of the revolution by bringing those involved in Darfur crimes to book to be presented before the Sudanese judiciary for fair trials to achieve justice for the families of the victims, instead of the current political trials which could be postponed or delayed.

What is strange is that even the political trials are not progressing, and at the same time to cases of Darfur crimes are neglected

The demand of the ICC to hand the indicted means simply that we don’t have n national mechanism to deal with Darfur crimes and that all the crimes that come after will find their way to the ICC!

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