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Sudan: Omar al-Bashir transferred to maximum-security prison

CNN logo CNN 4/18/2019 By Nima Elbagir and Yasir Abdullah, CNN
Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been moved to the maximum-security Kober prison, is seen in Khartoum in September 2018. © Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been moved to the maximum-security Kober prison, is seen in Khartoum in September 2018.

Sudan's ousted President Omar al-Bashir was transferred on Tuesday evening to Kober prison, a maximum-security prison notorious for holding political prisoners during his 30-year dictatorship, two prison officials who witnessed his arrival told CNN.

Several other regime figures are being held at the jail and kept separately to Bashir, who is under intensified security measures, the officials said. The prison's main yard has been well-known as a site for executions.

"He would've been led past the same hangman's noose where he sent people to meet their Lord," said one of the prison officials.

Bashir was ousted from power in a military coup last week and was arrested, alongside other top officials, in a sweep of regime figures.

Sudan's military has previously said that it would prosecute Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), but would not extradite him.

The military, which has dissolved the government, has said it would remain in power for up to two years, despite large street protests against their rule.

Bashir, former Interior Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein and Ahmed Haroun, the former head of the ruling party, will be charged with corruption and the death of protesters, two sources with direct knowledge of events told CNN.

On Tuesday, a Ugandan foreign minister said his country would consider offering Bashir asylum.

"If former Sudan leader al-Bashir sought asylum in Uganda, Uganda will consider it," State Minister for Foreign Affairs in charge of International Relations, Henry Okello Oryem, told journalists after he left a parliamentary committee meeting.

On Wednesday, Amnesty International released a statement calling on Bashir to be tried by the ICC for war crimes in Darfur.

"More than a decade after the first arrest warrant was issued against him in 2009, the time has come for al-Bashir to face justice at the ICC," said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty's International Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Bashir faces five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes at the ICC in The Hague in connection with Sudanese military actions in Darfur between 2003 and 2008.

Sudan's ruling military transitional council is now facing mounting pressure from the international community to hand over power to a civilian government.

On Tuesday, the African Union threatened to revoke Sudan's membership unless the country's military establishes civil rule within 15 days.

Meanwhile, Sudan has sought to appease demonstrators who have pressed on with marches and sit-ins. On Wednesday, the Military Transitional Council gave companies and government entities 72 hours to disclose their financial holdings in a bid to fight "corruption and hold the corrupt accountable."

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