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SLM’s al-Nur welcomes Hamdok’s pledge to hand al-Bashir over to the ICC

SLM leader Abdel Whaid al-Nur speaks in a meeting organized in Paris on 11 Nov 2017 (ST Photo)
November 7, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM/AW) welcomed pledges made by the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok to hand over the former president Omer al-Bashir to the war crimes court in The Hague.

During a visit to North Darfur State on Monday 4 November IDPs called on Hamdok to hand over al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

In an interview aired on Tuesday, the prime minister responded positively to their call saying "We must achieve what pleases the victims and makes them feel justice," stressing that "This is a fundamental demand that no barrier can stop it".

The SLM/AW leadership "heartily" welcomes Hamdok’s announcement that "deposed former President Omer al Bashir will, at last, be extradited to the Hague in the Netherlands to face long-standing indictments for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide and be finally subject to prosecution at a criminal trial presided over by the International Criminal Court, he has long deserved".

Further, the hold out group welcomed "the UN Security Council’s recent decision to extend the deployment of UNAMID in Darfur" for one year. Initially, the UNAMID had to quit Darfur by the end of June 2020.

Nonetheless, the statement which was signed by the group leader underscored that they will not celebrate the pledged-handover until it becomes true.

Al-Nur further underscored the need to hold accountable other criminal involved in the war crimes committed in Darfur pointing that over three hundred thousand civilians were killed during the counterinsurgency campaign carried out by the former regime and its militias in Darfur.

"Only trying Omar al Bashir, is an insult and offence to the dignity of the Sudanese people that will not be tolerated," he said.

Hamdok met with the SLM/AW leader in Paris last September in a bid to convince him to join the comprehensive peace talks held in Juba. However, al-Nur declined the request.

Under the former regime, the exiled leader said that the government had first to resolve the consequences of the conflict before to engage in talks over the root causes of the war. The consequences include the restitution of grabbed land, disbanding armed militias, compensation for the victims, and justice.

After the regime change in April 2019, the holdout group said the post-al-Bashir rulers have stolen the revolution and called for a popular plebiscite to confirm the legitimacy of the transitional authority (Sovereign Council the government) before to negotiate peace with them.

Al-Nur in his statement reiterated that they will not take part in peace talks because "Confidence in the transitional government, (...) will remain limited" until the plebiscite takes place, and all the suspected war criminals are held accountable.

"Informal discussions held in good faith, such as those held with Prime Minister Hamdok not long ago in Paris, will not advance to fully-fledged negotiations so long as popular sovereignty is not legitimized and even less so when too many with blood-stained hands benefit from immunity," he stressed.

(ST)