War Crimes Suspect Released Amid Sudan Crisis
Controversial war crimes suspect released amid Sudan crisis. Sudan's former interior minister, Ahmed Haroun, has confirmed that he has left jail following reports of a break-out.
Haroun, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity, was being held in Kober prison in the capital, Khartoum. He denied that the escape was pre-planned and said he and other Bashir loyalists had fled to protect themselves due to a lack of security, water, food, and treatment.
The break-out raises doubts about the commitment of both sides to a lasting peace, despite the current ceasefire between military factions that largely appears to be holding.
The conflict started on 15 April, the result of a power struggle between Sudan's regular army and the Rapid Support Forces, a rival paramilitary group. This week, reports emerged that prisoners, including Haroun and former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, had escaped from Kober prison.
Al-Bashir was ousted by the military in 2019 amid mass protests and is accused by the ICC of leading a mass killing and rape campaign in Sudan's Darfur region, which he denies.
The current crisis has led to the killing of 459 people, although the actual number is believed to be higher, and thousands have fled Sudan. The World Health Organization has warned of many more deaths due to outbreaks and a lack of services, with over 60% of health facilities in Khartoum being closed.
Thousands of Sudanese refugees reach neighboring countries | DW News
A second American has also died in Sudan, and the UN has warned that many people will continue to leave Sudan. Lines of buses and other vehicles are leaving Khartoum despite the rocketing prices of fuel and bus tickets.
Mukesh Kapila, a former UN coordinator for Sudan, has called Haroun "extremely dangerous" and "unreliable," adding that he has "many followers who have been lurking for the last two decades." Kapila has described the break-out as "really bad news," which, along with other armed groups, changes the dynamics in unpredictable ways.
While the ceasefire, which began at midnight local time on Monday, is the latest attempt to bring stability to the country, Mr Perthes, the UN special envoy to Sudan, said on Tuesday that both sides had not shown any unmistakable signs that they were ready to negotiate seriously.
Meanwhile, the White House has called for an extension of the ceasefire to address the humanitarian crisis, with national security spokesman John Kirby confirming the second American death in Sudan on Tuesday.
The conflict in Sudan has allowed several countries to evacuate their nationals from the country. Several evacuation flights carrying UK nationals from Sudan have landed in Cyprus, while a boat evacuating more than 1,600 people from dozens of countries has arrived in Saudi Arabia. Germany and France have both said that all their citizens have now left the country.
The breakout of prisoners, including Haroun and al-Bashir, is a significant development in the ongoing conflict in Sudan. The situation remains highly volatile, with fears that the ceasefire may not hold, and that the country may fall back into chaos. The international community has called for an extension of the ceasefire to address the humanitarian crisis and to provide much-needed aid to the people of Sudan.