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ICC prosecutor in Khartoum for talks on Darfur crimes

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October 17, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Fatou Bensouda, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrived in Khartoum on Saturday night for talks with the Sudanese officials on Darfur crimes.

Bensouda was received at Khartoum Airport by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice, Siham Osman, and several officials from the Ministry of Justice as well as the Office of the Attorney General.

Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), briefs the Security Council at a meeting on the situation in Darfur (UN Photo)She will hold talks with the transitional government officials on ways to bring justice for the victims of crimes committed in Darfur by the former regime of Omer al-Bashir who is indicted with other officials of genocide crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The Sudanese officials say they are willing to cooperate with the court but there was no contact with the ICC on the matter. This visit will be the first engagement.

The first visit of ICC delegation under the new regime was announced in a short statement released by the office of the Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok on Saturday.

"Today, Saturday, the seventeenth of October, a delegation from the International Criminal Court led by the Prosecutor General, Mrs Fatou Bensouda, will pay an official visit (to Sudan) until the twenty-first of this month, for talks with senior Sudanese officials".

The visiting delegation will discuss cooperation between Sudan and the International Criminal Court regarding the former officials wanted by the court for Darfur war crimes, further said the statement without naming them.

Last June, Bensoua told the Security Council that all ICC Darfur suspects must be brought to justice through genuine proceedings either in a courtroom in Sudan or at the Court in The Hague.

To this end, pursuant to the principle of complementarity and my mandate as ICC Prosecutor, I reiterate that I welcome dialogue with the Government of Sudan, while reassuring victims of the atrocity crimes committed in Darfur of my steadfast commitment to ensuring that those responsible for atrocities in Darfur ultimately face justice," she said.

The government and the armed groups agreed that the suspects of Darfur war crimes should be tried by the ICC.

The war crimes court has issued arrest warrants three officials al-Bashir, former interior minister Abdel Raheem Mohamed Hussein, and his deputy Ahmed Haroun. The three are in detention in Khartoum.

The ICC recently requested the court to defer the trial of militia leader Ali Kushayb to June 2021 saying they need more time to conduct further investigations.

The prosecutor office confessed that their investigation has been obstructed by the lack of cooperation of the former regime and now they count on the cooperation of the transitional government to investigate many cases.

(ST)

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