Five things you need to know about Sudan's Omar Al-Bashir

Omar al-Bashir stepped down as Sudan leader after 30 years in power.
Omar al-Bashir stepped down as Sudan leader after 30 years in power.

Sudan has been marred by protests for several months, eventually leading to its president Omar Al-Bashir being ousted by the military on Thursday. 

From his rise to power and his lengthy term in office to allegations of war crimes and his controversial visit to South Africa, here are five key things to know about Omar Al-Bashir.

Rising up the ranks  

Bashir joined a military academy in Egypt in the 1960s. He became a military attaché in the United Arab Emirates in the 1970s and headed a parachute brigade in the 1980s, Al-jazeera reported.

In the mid-1980s, he played an important part in the civil war against the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army. This put him in a powerful position in the army, allowing his influence over generals and winning support to later lead a coup.

Three decades in power

Bashir came into power in 1989 after overthrowing Sadiq al-Mahdi in a military coup. He ruled Sudan as whole until the North and South officially split in 2011. He was able to maintain his grip on power for 30 years before being ousted this week.

War crimes

Bashir has been accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of war crimes and crimes against humanity for atrocities committed in the long-running war in Darfur, Sudan.

The accusations against Bashir include five counts of crimes against humanity: murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape. 

The alleged war crimes include intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population and directing attacks against individuals not participating in the violence. 

Bashir also faces three counts of genocide, allegedly committed against civilians in Darfur from 2003 to 2008.

Warrants of arrest

The ICC issued two warrants of arrest for Bashir. The first one was issued on March 24 2009, the second on July 12 2010.

Bashir refused to hand himself over. The court cannot try anyone who is not present at the ICC. 

SA and Jordan

SA was criticised for not arresting Bashir when he visited the country to attend the African Union Summit in 2015. The ICC ruled in 2017 that SA had failed to perform its duties.

In 2017 he visited Jordan, where government officials also refused to arrest him. Jordan defended its decision, claiming the country had no obligation to arrest him, reported AFP.

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