Sudan declares amnesty except for war crime suspects

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Sudan's ruling sovereign council chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (C) at a ceremony in the capital Khartoum on October 8 after the signing of peace accords with rebels

Sudan has declared an amnesty for the tens of thousands who fought in its civil conflicts excluding those faced with charges of genocide or war crimes.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of Sudan's ruling sovereign council, signed an amnesty decree Thursday for "all those who carried arms or took part in military operations or war", state news agency SUNA reported.

The amnesty, which takes immediate effect, "excludes those with arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court or... those wanted for genocide or crimes against humanity", it said.

Rebel forces total about 50,000, including 15,000 whose groups have yet to join Sudan's peace accords signed on October 5 in Juba, according to a former rebel chief.

The amnesty follows the landmark deals signed by Sudan's new government with rebels who have been active in Darfur as well as the southern states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

The United Nations says the conflict in the vast Darfur region of western Sudan killed 300,000 people and displaced 2.5 million.

Ousted president Omar al-Bashir, jailed in Khartoum, is wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Militia leader Ali Kushayb, a top commander of the government-backed Janjaweed forces accused of carrying out some of the worst atrocities in Darfur, surrendered to the ICC in June.


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