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Sudanese army won't extradite al-Bashir, but will 'prosecute him' at home

Al-Bashir is wanted by International Criminal Court, where he faces charges of war crimes [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 12 April, 2019

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A Sudanese army official has declared the military authorities will not extradite deposed President Omar al-Bashir but will try him at home, before the nation.
A Sudanese army official has declared the military authorities will not extradite deposed President Omar al-Bashir but will try him at home, before the nation.

Col. Gen. Omar Zein Abedeen made the remarks at a press conference on Friday in the capital, Khartoum, defending the military’s removal of al-Bashir from power.

He said the move “was not a coup” but a response to the people’s demands.

He also said that handing over al-Bashir would be “an ugly mark on Sudan … even rebels carrying weapons, we won’t extradite them.”

Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court, where he faces charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for his deadly campaign against insurgents in Darfur.

The Sudanese army claimed it has no ambition to hold the reins of power for long after ousting President Omar al-Bashir, saying it responded to calls from the people against his rule.

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Zein Abedeen said the military wants to “guide the country forward” and act as a “tool for change.”

Zein Abedeen, a member of the transitional council that took over on Thursday after al-Bashir was arrested, tried to strike a conciliatory tone, saying: “We came for you.”

He said al-Bashir is in custody but declined to provide more details. He said al-Bashir’s top government members, including the vice president and associates, are also under arrest but didn’t elaborate.

He pledged the military would stay only as long as it’s needed.

Sudanese pro-democracy protesters who spent four months on the streets rallying against the country’s autocratic president are defying the military leaders who overthrew Omar al-Bashir the day before.

Thousands kept up their sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum overnight and into Friday morning despite a curfew imposed by the army after it arrested al-Bashir.

Organisers of the demonstration say they’ll keep up the campaign. It wasn’t clear if the army would move against the protesters.

The mood in the crowd appeared festive, with protesters playing music and chanting, “Down again” — a reference Defense Minister Awad Mohammed Ibn Auf.

Auf, on a US sanctions list for Darfur genocide, was sworn in as head of the new military transitional council that has taken charge for the next two years.

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