Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.
Sudan’s transitional government appears prepared to hand former President Omar al-Bashir over to the International Criminal Court to be tried for war crimes and genocide allegedly committed during his regime’s long, scorched-earth campaign in the country’s Darfur region. The decision is reportedly part of a potential peace agreement with rebel groups still operating in Darfur. It could be an unexpected boon for the beleaguered ICC, but only if the military members of the transitional government in Khartoum don’t renege on the deal.
The conflict in Darfur began in 2003 when rebels there launched an insurgency against Bashir’s oppressive regime. Bashir relied heavily on pro-government, Arab militias known as the Janjaweed to quash the rebels. The Janjaweed were accused of mass killings of civilians and other atrocities, including rape and torture. In 2009, the ICC indicted Bashir for his alleged role; he faces five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes and three counts of genocide.