190309 Omar Al Bashir
Omar Al Bashir Image Credit: Reuters

Khartoum - Sudan’s chief prosecutor said on Saturday that ousted president Omar Al Bashir will be referred to trial next week. Al Waleed Sayed Ahmad Mahmoud also told a news conference in Khartoum that criminal cases related to corruption have been opened against 41 other former officials.

He said he had attended a meeting with military heads to discuss judicial supervision of a plan to clear what he called “criminals” from an area adjacent to a protest camp in the centre of the capital. But the idea of dispersing the protesters was not discussed, he said.

This came as Sudan’s transitional military council suspended implementation of a decree demanding that the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur hand over its premises as part of its withdrawal next year, a Sudanese diplomat said Friday.

Omar Ahmad Mohammad Ahmad told the UN Security Council that the transitional military council also decided Thursday to withdraw all armed forces and other security forces from sites the government has already received from the peacekeeping force known as UNAMID.

The United Nations has opposed the transitional military council’s decree, saying under an agreement with the Sudanese government its facilities when handed over are to be used solely for civilian purposes.

Last July, the Security Council voted to dramatically cut the UNAMID force in the vast western Darfur region in response to reduced fighting and improved security conditions. The target for ending the mission is June 30, 2020, and Ahmed urged the council to keep to that timetable.

“We reject any attempt to postpone or suspend the exit of UNAMID given that there are no conditions, no justification or reasons for its presence,” Ahmad said.

Russia and China backed Sudan and urged the Security Council to stick to the timetable.