KHARTOUM – Sudanese protesters marched on the presidential palace Thursday, demanding the country’s new leaders establish an independent judiciary to prosecute ousted president Omar al-Bashir and supporters of his regime.
Protesters said they are angry over what they consider mock trials for former president Bashir and supporters of his 30-year rule.
The protest was backed by the Sudanese Professionals Association, the body that organized the mass demonstrations that led the military to remove Bashir from power in April.
Lawyers and rights groups say the main issue is a defect in the power-sharing agreement signed by generals and protest leaders, which sets no clear timeline for setting up a judiciary system and public prosecutors.
SPA representative Dafallah Nourain said opposition groups should be allowed to name and appoint individuals to the judiciary. As it stands, he added, all members of the higher court are Bashir supporters and members of the Islamic movement, so the former regime will never face a real trial.
Protesting in front of the palace, Najmeldin Zaki called for quicker formation of the judiciary.
The corrupt former regime ruined the country and abused its citizens, he said, and they should be tried in a legal and fair way, but protesters shouldn’t have to wait months for justice.
Standing beside Zaki as riot police used tear gas to disperse the crowd, Faris Hamid also demanded prosecution of security forces, who killed dozens of protesters during a deadlock in talks between the military and opposition groups.
Former president Bashir is currently being tried on corruption charges. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague for alleged war crimes and genocide during the war in Sudan’s Darfur region.
Source: Voice of America