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Sudanese officials, ICC delegation discuss work of investigation teams

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Ali Kushayb

February 7, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - A delegation from the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrived in Khartoum on Sunday to discuss with Sudanese officials preparations for the visits of investigating teams to Sudan.

The delegation includes 12 officials from the Office of the Public Prosecutor, including investigators and specialists in cases of violation of the rights of women and children, witness protection specialists and health professionals.

In a meeting with the visiting delegation, Minister of Justice Nasr al-Din Abdel-Bari stressed the importance of cooperation between the two parties and the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Government of Sudan and the Office of the ICC Prosecutor.

Abdel-Bari added that discussions are taking place between state agencies to discuss the best means of cooperation between Sudan and the ICC Office of the Prosecutor according to a statement released after the meeting.

During her visit to Khartoum on 17 to 20 October 2020, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda agreed with the Sudanese officials that a team from her office would visit Sudan in November 2020 to prepare the arrival of investigation teams.

However, the visit of the operational assessment team was postponed at the request of the Sudanese authorities.

The government did not announce why the visit had been delayed but the volatile security conditions, particularly in West Darfur, were not favourable for such mission.

Also, the prosecutor also submitted to Sudan a draft memorandum of understanding on modalities of cooperation, shortly after the visit, but the Sudanese government still did not give its response.

Normally, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II is scheduled to hold on 22 February confirmation of charges hearing of Ali Kushayb, a militia leader accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in West Darfur state.

It is not clear if the judges will postpone the hearing for the second of not, initially it had to take place on 7 December.

The visiting delegation met also with the acting foreign minister Omer Gamar Eldin who reaffirmed the readiness of his ministry to facilitate the delegation’s mission, once the memorandum of understanding is signed.

(ST)

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