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Sudan to hand over Bashir to ICC for Darfur crimes: top official

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Khartoum (AFP)

Sudan has agreed to hand ousted autocrat Omar al-Bashir and others to the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur, a member of Khartoum's ruling body said Tuesday.

The Hague-based ICC has charged Bashir and three of his former aides with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Sudan's western region during a brutal conflict from 2003.

"Those who have been indicted by the ICC, they have to go there," Mohamed Hassan Al-Taishay, a member of the ruling sovereign council, was quoted as saying in a statement.

His remarks came as a government delegation and met rebel groups in the South Sudanese capital of Juba.

He said the talks revolved on achieving justice and reconciliation in Darfur, where the United Nations says about 300,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since the conflict erupted.

Taishay said they had agreed several mechanisms for achieving peace in the region.

"First, all those who have been indicted by ICC should appear before the ICC," he said. "Second, a special court be set up to investigate crimes committed in Darfur."

The conflict in Darfur, the size of France, erupted when ethnic minority African rebels took up arms against Bashir's then Arab-dominated government, accusing it of marginalising the region economically and politically.

The ICC has charged Bashir with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the conflict.

Three of his former aides are also wanted by ICC: Ahmed Haroon, Abdulrahim Mohamed Hussain and Ali Kushied.

Bashir was ousted by the army in a palace coup last April after months of protests against his iron-fisted rule of three decades.

He is currently held at a prison in Khartoum.

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