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Sun, 20 Oct 2019 16:13 - Updated Sun, 20 Oct 2019 16:08

Darfur victims say for sake of peace Bashir must face ICC

CAMP KALMA (Sudan) - For Jamal Ibrahim, whose sisters were raped by militiamen in Darfur, only the handover of Sudan's ousted dictator Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court can bring peace to the restive Darfur region.

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"Two of my sisters were raped in front of my eyes by militiamen who stormed through our village, setting our houses on fire," Ibrahim, 34, told AFP at Camp Kalma, a sprawling facility where tens of thousands of people displaced by the conflict in Darfur have lived for years.

"Bashir and his aides who committed the crimes in Darfur must be handed over to the ICC if peace is to be established in the region."

Ibrahim, who is from Mershing in the mountainous Jebel Marra area of Darfur, said his village was attacked by Arab militiamen in March 2003 soon after conflict erupted in the region.

The fighting broke out when ethnic African rebels took up arms against Khartoum's then Arab-dominated government under Bashir, alleging racial discrimination, marginalisation and exclusion.

Khartoum responded by unleashing the Janjaweed, a group of mostly Arab raiding nomads that it recruited and armed to create a militia of gunmen who were often mounted on horses or camels.

They have been accused of applying a scorched earth policy against ethnic groups suspected of supporting the rebels -- raping, killing, looting and burning villages.

The brutal campaign earned Bashir and others arrest warrants from The Hague-based ICC for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

About 300,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced in the conflict, the United Nations says.

- 'Won't accept any peace deal' -

Bashir, who denies the ICC charges, was ousted by the army in April after months of nationwide protests against his ironfisted rule of three decades.

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