Sudan coup highlights impasse ICC has been stuck in
Court faces unenviable choice over prosecution of deposed al-Bashir
A military coup in Sudan has ended Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year rule. The country’s defence minister, Awad Ibn Ouf, announced the toppling of the regime and detaining of its chief in a secure place. Al-Bashir’s whereabouts is of interest because he’s wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide in Darfur.
The ICC’s case stretches back to 2005 with the publication of a UN report that accused the Sudanese government of systematic abuses in Darfur. The UN Security Council referred the suspects to the ICC. In the following years, the ICC would release two arrest warrants against al-Bashir — in 2009 and in 2010 — on several counts of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. In 2014, the ICC’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda shelved the case due to a lack of co-operation in pushing for al-Bashir’s arrest. Many saw the shelving as emblematic of the court’s lack of power over powerful individuals, especially sitting hea...