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Africa News of Thursday, 27 April 2023


Aide of Sudan’s former leader escapes prison; al-Bashir in hospital

Omar al-Bashir Omar al-Bashir

A former head of the al-Bashir's regime in Sudan wanted for crimes against humanity has announced that he fled prison with other former collaborators in this country in full chaos.

According to the army, former leader Omar al-Bashir did not flee with his lieutenants because he is currently in hospital.

Ousted Sudanese strongman Omar al-Bashir is "still in a hospital under the guard of the judicial police", the army announced on Wednesday, after Ahmed Haroun, one of his lieutenants, wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that he had escaped with others from Kober prison in the capital Khartoum.

His whereabouts could not be independently verified.

The army assures that four other "soldiers accused for June 30", the coup d'état of Bashir in 1989, have also been "in the Alia hospital of the armed forces" since "before the start" of the fighting on April 15 between the two ruling generals in Khartoum.

War crimes

In a speech recorded on Sudanese television on Tuesday (pr. 25) evening, Ahmed Haroun, also wanted by the ICC, said that former officials of the Bashir regime were no longer in detention.

"We remained in detention in Kober for nine days (...) and we now have the responsibility for our protection" in another place, he said.

He is wanted by the ICC for "war crimes" and "crimes against humanity" in Darfur, western Sudan.

A conflict erupted there in 2003 between Khartoum and members of non-Arab ethnic minorities. It left some 300,000 dead and 2.5 million displaced, according to the UN.

Haroun's escape is the latest reported jail break since the army and paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF) began fighting on April 15.

It is during the rule of Omar Al Bashir that General Abel Fatthah Al Buhan who leads the military and general Mohamad Hamdane Daglo who heads a rival paramilitary force rose through the ranks.

Al- Bashir was eventually overthrown in 2019 after spending 30 years in power.

The fighting between the generals Al Burhane and Daglo has killed at least 295 civilians while 1,790 others injured, according to the Doctors’ Syndicate.

The RSF forces include thousands of former militiamen recruited by Bashir to carry out the scorched earth policy in Darfur.