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Sudan signed an agreement with the International Criminal Court on Thursday to move forward in the cases against those accused of atrocities in the Darfur region, including the country’s former President Omar al-Bashir, a top ICC prosecutor said.

Prosecutor Karim Khan said at a press conference that he would also be deploying a full-time team from his office to Sudan. The developments come as Sudan’s government continues to hold al-Bashir in prison. The ICC issued a warrant for al-Bashir on war crimes charges more than a decade ago, while he was in office.

The agreement further raises the possibility of al-Bashir being tried in The Hague, where the ICC is based, an issue that remains controversial in Sudan.

Khan landed in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum earlier this week and held meetings with the president of Sudan’s transitional council, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, judiciary officials and civil society representatives.

“This agreement provides a basis for cooperation and exchange of information in relation to all cases where there are warrants,” he said, adding that such cooperation will help the ICC build strong cases.

Al-Bashir has been in jail in Khartoum since his ouster in April 2019 amid a public uprising against his nearly three-decade autocratic rule. The ICC has charged him with crimes against humanity and war crimes in the Darfur conflict.

Though he did not discuss dates for a handover of al-Bashir, Khan said he welcomed the Sudanese Cabinet’s recent approval of a draft bill allowing the East African country to join the court’s founding treaty, known as the Rome Statute. The decision was a step forward in the long-waited trial of those wanted by the ICC. Khan said that the ratification of that bill is expected to be discussed next week at a joint meeting of Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council and Cabinet, which together serve as an interim parliament.

When asked whether Bashir could be tried outside the Hague, Khan said the Rome Statue says that the ICC may convene away from the seat — a matter the court’s presidency and judges can decide on.

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