(S tribune KHARTOUM) – The head of the National Umma Party Sadiq al-Mahdi voiced his support to the International Criminal Court and said favourable to hand over the Sudanese indicted for war crimes, genocide and crime against humanity.
In the past, al-Mahdi called on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to defer the ICC prosecution for one year to give a chance for peace in Sudan.
Speaking to the media in his first press conference after the removal of President Omer al-Bashir, the former prime minister recalled that he supported the war crimes court and demanded from the outset to join it, especially Sudan has signed the treaty establishing the Court on 17 July 1998.
“But when one of the wanted persons of the Court was head of state, we advocated the reconciliation of criminal justice and stability in Sudan. We discussed procedures with the trial lawyer in the court and with senior officials of the UN Security Council,” he said.
“But now we do not mind responding to its demands and we should immediately join if (the court),” he said before to add that there should be a coordination with the military council on this respect.
“This is what the families of the victims demand, and requires the normalization with the international community,” he emphasized.
The position of the military council is not clear on the issue. Several militaries said the issue should be decided by the government. But Hemetti the deputy head of the transitional military council spoke about an “elected government”.
The ICC issued two arrest warrants for al-Bashir on 10 counts of war crimes and genocide and crimes against humanity.
Sudan has signed but not ratified the treaty forming the ICC, which is the first permanent global war crimes court. But the situation in Darfur, Sudan, was referred to the Court by the UN Security Council in its resolution 1593 of 31 March 2005.
The ICC issued two arrest warrants against al-Bashir for five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes, and three counts of genocide allegedly committed against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups in Darfur, Sudan, from 2003 to 2008.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Darfur and more than 2 million forced to flee their homes during a revolt launched by mostly non-Arab rebels in early 2003, who say they are marginalised by the central government.