Sudan’s Hamdok says government ready to cooperate with ICC over Darfur

Sudan’s government is ready to cooperate with the ICC for those accused of war crimes to appear before the court, PM Hamdok said. (File/AFP)
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Updated 22 August 2020

Sudan’s Hamdok says government ready to cooperate with ICC over Darfur

  • Bashir is wanted by the ICC for alleged war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur
  • Hamdok said Sudan had come a long way towards being removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism

KHARTOUM: Sudan's prime minister said on Saturday the country was ready to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) so those accused of war crimes in Darfur appear before the tribunal, a list that includes ousted President Omar Al-Bashir.
Bashir, who has been in jail in Khartoum since he was toppled after mass protests last year, is wanted by the ICC for alleged war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur in a conflict that killed an estimated 300,000 people.
The government reached a deal with rebel groups in February that all five Sudanese ICC suspects should appear before the court but Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok had not previously publicly affirmed Sudan's position.
"I reiterate that the government is fully prepared to cooperate with the ICC to facilitate access to those accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity," Hamdok said in a televised address on the anniversary of his ascent to office.
Sudan's transitional government, a three-year joint civilian-military arrangement led by Hamdok, says it is close to a peace deal with some rebel groups active in Darfur, a vast region roughly the size of France.
The government and some of the rebels are expected to initial an agreement on Aug. 28.
Hamdok also said during his TV address that Sudan had come a long way towards being removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.
There are intense communications with the American administration about removing Sudan from the list and significant progress is expected in the coming weeks, a senior government source told Reuters on Sunday.
Washington added Sudan to the list in 1993 over allegations that Bashir's Islamist government was supporting terrorist groups at the time.
The designation makes Sudan technically ineligible for debt relief and financing from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The US Congress would need to approve Sudan's removal from the list.


New Zealand slams Qatar as Kiwi woman revealed as victim of airport exams

Updated 30 October 2020

New Zealand slams Qatar as Kiwi woman revealed as victim of airport exams

  • These latest revelations come just a day after the British government spoke out against a similar incident involving 2 Britons
  • Qatar says the searches were carried out after a baby was left in a bin

WELLINGTON: New Zealand has revealed one of its citizens was among the women subjected to invasive pelvic examinations at Doha airport, labelling the action “completely unacceptable.”
“We were extremely concerned to learn... that a New Zealand national was involved in the appalling incident involving female passengers on several Qatar Airways flights,” the foreign affairs ministry said in a statement late Thursday.
“This action was completely unacceptable. We are making our views known to Qatari authorities and are seeking a full report on what occurred.”

Now Qatar has said it will prosecute those responsible for the searches.
Women on 10 flights out of Doha were subject to the examinations as authorities in the ultra-conservative Gulf state searched for the mother of a newborn baby found abandoned in an airport bathroom.
The foreign ministry statement provided no details about the New Zealand woman involved, citing privacy concerns.
Qatar said Wednesday it “regrets any distress” over the incident, which occurred in early October but only came to light this week after affected Australian passengers spoke out.
Australia has since said 13 of its citizens had to endure the “appalling” examinations, Britain said it is providing support for two women and AFP has learned a French woman was also affected.
In its first account of events, Qatar said the baby girl was wrapped in plastic and left to die in a bathroom rubbish bin, prompting what sources said was a lockdown of the airport.
Women were then led from aircraft to ambulances on the tarmac where they were subject to cervical examinations to see if they had recently given birth.
Qatar has launched an investigation into the incident, which involved women on 10 flights, and sources say those involved could face criminal prosecution.