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Sudanese professionals rebuke al-Burhan’s rejection of handover al-Bahir to ICC

IDPs at Abu Shouk camps in North Darfur receive Hamdok with a banner calling to hand al-Bashir to the ICC on 4 November 2019 (ST photo)
November 23, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) which spearheaded the protests against the ousted regime have blatantly rejected statements by the head of the Sovereign Council that Omer al-Bashir would not be handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan brushed aside pledge made by the Freedom and Changes Forces (FFC), a coalition of the opposition forces that brought down al-Bashir’s regime to hand the former president to the war crimes court in The Hague.

Bashir will not be handed over to the International Criminal Court, he said in an interview with Aljazeera TV on Thursday 21 November.

"We must give a chance to the Sudanese judiciary, we fully trust them because (the Sudanese courts) are able to can punish and hold perpetrators accountable for all sorts of different crimes," he said.

"This is unacceptable anticipation," said the SPA in a statement released two days after al-Burhan’s interview.

"The first and foremost purpose for the prosecution of al-Bashir for the crimes of his regime in Darfur is to reach an equation that satisfies stakeholders - victims of genocide and crimes against humanity- in the villages, towns and cities of Darfur," said the SPA.

"But we must take into account the desire of the victims to see Bashir handed over to the international justice, to affront him and to those who were under his command and to heal the bereaved," further said the professionals’ group.

In a visit to North Darfur State earlier this month, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok was received in the IDPs camps with banners calling to hand over the head of the former regime to the ICC. After what he admitted the need to satisfy their demand and pledged to achieve it.

"We must achieve what pleases the victims and makes them feel justice," he said.

"This is a fundamental demand that no barrier can stop it," he further stressed.

Al-Burhan during the interview sought to confirm that the two components of the transitional authority are synchronising their activities and work in harmony, a matter that officials in the civilian government repeated previously.

However, his controversial statements on al-Bashir handover to the ICC may open the door for a new struggle between the military and the civilian groups.

Also, al-Burhan’s statements may negatively impact the position of Darfur armed groups that negotiate a peace agreement with the government in Juba, as they call unanimously for his trial at the ICC.