Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 September 2020

New charges for Sudan's Bashir over 1989 coup

A committee of Forces of Freedom and Change protest movement said arrest warrants and travel bans are issued against the former leader and his aides

Omar Al Bashir waving to his supporters during a rally on July 11, 1989. AFP
Omar Al Bashir waving to his supporters during a rally on July 11, 1989. AFP

Sudanese authorities on Tuesday filed new charges against ousted leader Omar Al Bashir and some of his aides for "plotting" the 1989 coup that brought him to power, the country's protest movement said.

Mr Al Bashir, who was a brigadier at the time, seized power in a coup that toppled the then elected government of prime minister Sadiq Al Mahdi.

But Mr Al Bashir was ousted by the army in April after months of nationwide protests against his iron-fisted rule of three decades.

He has been jailed since, and on Tuesday authorities filed a separate case against him and several of his aides for the 1989 coup.

"Arrest warrants have been issued against all military and civilian members who plotted and carried out the 1989 coup," the legal committee of the protest movement Forces of Freedom and Change said.

The committee said arrest warrants and travel bans were issued against Mr Al Bashir and other top figures of his regime, including Nafa Ali Nafa, Ali Taha and Ibrahim Al Sanousi.

The authorities have also issued an arrest warrant against Ali Al Haj, a senior leader from the Islamist Popular Congress Party, which was an ally of Mr Al Bashir's government.

Like Mr Al Bashir, Mr Nafa and Mr Taha are already in prison, but Mr Al Sanousi and Mr Al Haj are still free.

The protest group said the prosecutors told them of the warrants during a meeting on Tuesday.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which is part of the umbrella protest movement and initially led the campaign against Mr Al Bashir, also posted a statement on Twitter.

If found guilty, the accused could face death penalty or life imprisonment under Sudanese law.

Mr Al Bashir is also wanted by International Criminal Court in The Hague for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the war in Darfur.

He is on trial in a Sudanese court for illegally acquiring and using foreign funds.

Sudan is now ruled by a joint civilian and military sovereign council, which has been given the task of overseeing the country's transition to a civilian rule as demanded by the protest movement.

Updated: November 13, 2019 09:36 AM

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