Sudan's ousted president Bashir charged in the deaths of protesters

Ex-president Omar al-Bashir has been charged for his role in the deaths of protesters during the rallies that led to his ouster, Sudan's prosecutor general said Monday, as protest leaders announced a deal with the army on a new governing council.

Ashraf Shazly, AFP file picture | Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir at the Sudanese presidential palace on March 14, 2019

"Omar al-Bashir and others have been charged for inciting and participating in the killing of demonstrators," said the office of Sudan's acting prosecutor general, Al-Waleed Sayyed Ahmed.

The charges against Bashir came during an investigation into the death of a medic who was killed during a protest in the capital's eastern district of Burri.

"The prosecutor general has recommended speeding up the investigation into the killing of demonstrators," the statement from the prosecutor's office said.

Reporting from Khartoum, FRANCE 24’s Nadia Massih said that the aim of the announcement is most likely to quell some of the public anger against the former leader.

“Will it work? Well let’s see whether or not Omar al-Bashir ever faces trial,” she said, noting that although the prosecutor has already accused Bashir of money laundering and financing terrorism, “there has been no sign that any kind of judicial proceeding is imminent”.

Reason for caution

Massih also said there is reason to be cautious over Monday’s announcement that Sudan’s protest leaders have reached an agreement with the military on the “structure” of a new sovereign council that would run the country.

“They’ve made similar statements in the past," she said. "From what we understand they’ve agreed on the structure, that is to say that there will be an executive legislature and that there will be this ruling council, but the make-up of that council – How many civilians will sit on that body? How many members of the military will sit on that body? – those are the crucial questions that have been holding up talks for the past couple of days. And the military itself has admitted tonight that at least on that, there is no breakthrough yet.”

The transitional military council currently ruling the country has said Bashir will face justice in Sudan and will not be extradited to The Hague, where the International Criminal Court has charged him with war crimes and genocide linked to the Darfur conflict in the early 2000s.

Bashir was imprisoned in the capital, Khartoum, days after the military removed him from power.


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