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Sudan ready to work with ICC on war crimes

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Sudan will cooperate with the International Criminal Court's efforts to prosecute those wanted for war crimes and genocide in connection with the Darfur conflict, Sudanese prime minister Abdalla Hamdok said Saturday.

Hamdok's pledge came during a televised address on the first anniversary of him assuming the post of prime minister.

"The government is fully prepared to cooperate with the International Criminal Court to facilitate access to those accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity to achieve full justice to those who committed war crimes and genocide against our own people," he said.

Sudan's authorities have agreed to hand over ousted former leader Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court to face trial on charges of war crimes and genocide, in a deal with rebels to surrender all suspects wanted over the Darfur conflict.

The story so far

For a decade after his indictment, al-Bashir confounded the court, which is based in The Hague.

He was not only out of reach during his 30 years in power in Khartoum, but he also travelled abroad frequently to visit friendly leaders without fear of arrest.

He even attended the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he kicked a soccer ball playfully during an airport welcome ceremony and watched matches from luxury seating.

The military overthrew al-Bashir in April 2019 amid massive public protests of his rule, and he has been jailed in Khartoum since then.

In the Darfur conflict, rebels from the territory's ethnic central and sub-Saharan African community launched an insurgency in 2003, complaining of oppression by the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum.

The government responded with a scorched-earth assault of aerial bombings and unleashed militias known as the Janjaweed, who are accused of mass killings and rapes.

Up to 300,000 people were killed and 2.7 million were driven from their homes.

Al-Bashir, 76, faces three counts of genocide, five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes for his alleged role in leading the deadly crackdown.

The indictments were issued in 2009 and 2010, marking the first time the global court had charged a suspect with genocide.