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Removal of President Omar al-Bashir and the Continued Pursuit of Justice

President Omar al-Bashir’s authoritarian rule of Sudan began in 1989. Brutal conflict and targeting of minority ethnic groups characterized his 30 year rule. The crimes comitted during his regime were so serious that the International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted him for his role in genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. He was the first ever sitting head-of-state to receive an arrest warrant from the ICC. He has evaded the Court to this day. 

In April 2019 he was removed from office, and by August a civilian-military transitional government had formed. Since then, the difficult process of forming a new government has continued. In October 2021 armed groups signed a peace deal, yet levels of violence against civilians have since increased and experts have expressed concern that conflict is spreading throughout the country, particularly in Darfur.

With justice efforts slowly advancing, some hope remains. The transitional government has initiated corruption proceedings against al-Bashir, and in late 2020 the ICC sent a delegation to Sudan to discuss the possibility of trying al-Bashir in The Hague. It remains to be seen whether the ICC will ultimately prosecute him.