On Tuesday Sudan’s cabinet voted unanimously to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
‘Today, in our cabinet meeting, we have unanimously passed a bill to join the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,’ Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Twitter.
‘Justice and accountability are a solid foundation of the new, rule of law-based Sudan we’re striving to build,’ Hamdok added.
Sudan has been led by a transitional civilian-military administration since August 2019, which undertook to bring justice to victims of crimes committed under former President Omar Al Bashir.
This brings Sudan a step further towards ex-president Omar al-Bashir potentially facing trial for genocide.
The decision still needs the approval of Sudan’s sovereign council.
Al Bashir, who ruled Sudan for three decades, was deposed in April 2019 following months of protests in Sudan. He is facing charges for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Mark Kersten, a consultant at the Wyamo Foundation, said to Al Jazeera: ‘It’s a remarkable turn of events. It has taken a long time and this is no thanks to the United Nations Security Council, but the change from Sudan under Bashir galvanizing anti-ICC sentiment to Sudan joining the Court and Bashir potentially being prosecuted by the ICC is stunning. I would like to think that Bashir has been informed of Sudan’s decision and is very, very upset – and worried.’
Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, Africa Director of the International Commission of Jurists said to Al Jazeera: ‘Sudan has taken a significant step forward towards ending impunity for international crimes. This follows commitments made in February 2020 by the transitional government to cooperate with the ICC, which stands in stark contrast with former President Al Bashir’s government’s refusal to cooperate with the ICC.’
Ramjathan-Keogh added: ‘This decision will further promote justice and accountability and contribute to a country supported and guided by the rule of law.’
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