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Sudan opens Darfur crimes probe against Bashir regime figures

The conflict between pro-government forces and ethnic minority rebels left around 300,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced, according to the United Nations.

FILE: Sudan's deposed military ruler Omar al-Bashir sits in a defendant's cage during his corruption trial in Khartoum on 24 August 2019. Picture: AFP

KHARTOUM - Sudan has opened an investigation into crimes committed in the Darfur region by members of the regime of ousted former president Omar al-Bashir, the state prosecutor said Sunday.

The conflict between pro-government forces and ethnic minority rebels left around 300,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced, according to the United Nations.

"We have launched an investigation into the crimes committed in Darfur from 2003," prosecutor Tagelsir al-Heber said on his arrival in Khartoum after a trip to the United Arab Emirates.

He added that these were "cases against former regime officials" tied to Bashir, who is sought by the International Criminal Court for his role in the Darfur conflict.

Warrants for the ex-dictator's arrest were issued by the ICC in 2009 and 2010 on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity but Bashir has not been extradited to The Hague, the seat of the ICC.

Sudan's new transitional government, brought to power after the protest movement toppled Bashir, has vowed to establish peace in conflict-hit regions, including Darfur.

On 14 December, Bashir was sentenced by a court in Khartoum to two years' detention in a correctional centre for corruption in the first of several cases against him.

Bashir is also being investigated for his role in the 1989 coup that brought him to power.

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