Photo credits: Zee News
Following the end of his 30-year military reign, ousted Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir (pictured) will not be extradited to any country in the world where he is a wanted man, according to an official from Sudan’s army.
Al-Bashir, 75, took control of Africa’s geographically largest nation in a military coup, which he led in 1989. The National Congress Party leader ousted Sudan’s former democratically elected president Sadiq Al-Mahdi. In 1989, Al-Mahdi resumed peace talks with rebel groups in the south of the nation.
This infuriated Al-Bashir and he organized a strong-armed military takeover with the assistance of top Sudanese army officers. Under Al-Bashir’s rule, many Sudanese citizens lost their lives during a bloody struggle that became one of the world’s longest-running civil wars.
Sudan’s First Civil War lasted from 1955 to 1972. However, Al-Bashir presided over Sudan during its longer and bloodier Second Civil War, which raged on from 1983 to 2005. During this 22-year armed struggle, mass rapes, slavery, the wanton murder of millions, and relentless pillage were regular occurrences.
In Sudan’s Darfur provincial region, Al-Bashir was accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of summoning hordes of private, non-government mercenaries called the Janjaweed. These rebels are from the northern rim of the country and were said to be exceedingly ruthless.
The ICC claimed in its March 2009 indictment of Al-Bashir that the now deposed president was the director of a sadistic Darfur massacre series carried out by the Janjaweed.
The ICC claimed the brutal campaign of mass rape and murder targeted female members of much darker-skinned tribes from the south, such as the Dinka women and girls.
When the men of the Darfur villages were killed off trying to protect their families during sporadic battles, the women were viciously taken by the Janjaweed fighters. Ethnic cleansing was another war crime Al-Bashir’s government was accused of orchestrating during Darfur’s series of wars.
Al-Bashir’s stifling occupation of the presidency ended earlier this week when the embattled strongman stepped down after intense protests and civil unrest took its toll. Col. Gen. Omar Zein Abedeen, a leading Sudanese army officer, said that Al-Bashir is in military custody.
However, Col. Abedeen said that Sudan has no intention of handing over Al-Bashir to any national jurisdiction that cooperates with the ICC. He said that Al-Bashir’s trial and punishment process would be done independently by the Sudanese government.
“[Turning over Al-Bashir to another country to be tried would be] an ugly mark on Sudan … even rebels carrying weapons, we won’t extradite them,” Col. Abedeen said, according to Time Magazine.
A three-month state of emergency has been declared in Sudan and its borders and airspace have been closed, Time also reported.