News May 12, 2020 at 08:00 am

Sudan seizes properties belonging to relatives of al-Bashir

Nii Ntreh May 12, 2020 at 08:00 am

May 12, 2020 at 08:00 am | News

Omar al-Bashir is now facing charges of war crimes at the International Criminal Court. Photo Credit: Al Jazeera via Khaled Elfiqi/EPA

Sudan is set to reclaim plots of land and residential properties from family relations of embattled former leader Omar al-Bashir after an anti-corruption commission concluded that the properties were secured through nepotism.

The anti-corruption body, known as the Empowerment Removal Committee, found last Thursday nephews, nieces and a brother-in-law had obtained the properties in Khartoum because of their proximity to the former head of state.

The list of offenders also included an ex-defense minister. The committee now says some 990,000 square feet of landed property in the country’s capital is under the control of the Ministry of Finance.

The Empowerment Removal Committee was put together by Sudan’s attorney general’s office in the wake of the overthrow of al-Bashir a year ago. The committee’s mandate is to investigate crimes associated with public funds and projects under the erstwhile government.

The former president himself is in jail in Khartoum after he was sentenced to two years in prison for corruption after his 30-year rule. He was specifically committed to a reform facility.

But the sentence was overwhelmingly derided for not being punitive enough. The conclusion picked up by the government, therefore, was a massive thirst to see Bashir in a steeper situation.

In February this year, Sudan’s transitional government was ready to hand over the country’s former dictator to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The decision to send al-Bashir over to The Hague was reached during peace talks between the government and rebel forces in Darfur in February.

Bashir is accused of orchestrating the infamous Darfur conflicts that took the lives of more than 300,000 people in a little over a decade.

The BBC quoted a spokesperson, who said the government is doing “what the Sudanese people asked us to do”. The spokesperson, Mohammed Hassan al-Taishi, also added: “Justice cannot be achieved if we don’t heal the wounds.”

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