Ousted Sudan leader Bashir makes first appearance since coup

US & World
Sudan's ex-President Omar al-Bashir leaves the office of prosecutor in Khartoum, Sudan - Sunday 16 June 2019Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Omar al-Bashir leaves the prosecutor’s office in Khartoum

Sudan’s former-President Omar al-Bashir has appeared in public for the first time since he was overthrown in a coup in April.

Mr Bashir was driven from a jail in the capital, Khartoum to the prosecutor’s office where he was read the corruption charges against him.

Surrounded by security guards, the 75-year-old former leader was wearing traditional white robes and a turban.

Mr Bashir was overthrown in a coup after months of mass protests.

Prosecutors say a large hoard of foreign currency was found in grain sacks at Mr Bashir’s home after he was ousted, bringing to an end nearly 30 years in power.

The former president walked briskly on Sunday from a vehicle into the prosecutor’s office, smiling and chatting with guards, but returned minutes later scowling, Reuters news agency reported.

Mr Bashir is also wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), accused of organising war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s Darfur region – charges he denies.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagolo, who is the vice-president of the military junta, has promised to prosecute those behind a recent deadly crackdown.

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Media captionThe BBC’s Fergal Keane spoke to some of those who witnessed the violence

According to opposition activists,more than 100 people were killed on 3 June when Sudanese security forces ended a peaceful sit-in outside Khartoum’s military headquarters. The demonstrators were demanding a return to civilian rule.

Hemeti commands the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), more popularly known in Sudan as the Janjaweed. The group has been accused carrying out the killings this month, as is linked to atrocities dating back to the Darfur conflict.

“We are working hard to take those who did this to the gallows,” Hemeti said in a televised speech, according to the AFP news agency. “Whoever committed any fault” will be held accountable, he said.

More on Sudan’s crisis

Sudan’s military authorities have faced intense international criticism following the crackdown earlier this month, and the country has been suspended from the African Union.

On Friday after a visit to Khartoum, the US assistant secretary of state for Africa, Tibor Nagy, called for a credible and independent investigation into the killings.

Talks between the protesters and the Transitional Military Council (TMC) broke down after the violence.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-48655897

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