The Sudanese telecoms billionaire Mo Ibrahim is making a strong case for charges against Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to be dropped.
Ibrahim says if doing so will ensure that he leaves power and stop ongoing protests, then the ICC should do that.
Bashir remains at large despite two international warrants for his arrest issued in 2009 and in 2010.
He is facing 10 charges relating to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the western Darfur region.
In 2003 ethnic minority groups took up arms against Bashir’s Arab-dominated government. Bashir’s government launched a brutal counter-insurgency.
The UN says at least 300,000 people have since been killed and 2.5 million displaced in Darfur.
But in recent weeks President Bashir is facing opposition from his own country. Citizens have been agitating over the country’s worsening economic situation.
The protests were triggered after bread prices increased from one Sudanese pound ($0.02) to three Sudanese pounds ($0.063).
More than 20 people have been reported dead from the protests, sparking sustained demonstrations. Protesters are demanding his exit from power.
Mo Ibrahim told the BBC he will back the dropping of the ICC charges “If that is going to save lives, if it is going to save us from a bloody civil war, let the man go in peace”
“Although I hate impunity, I mean people should be punished for their sins, but if that’s the price of letting the man go, fine,” Ibrahim added.
African countries have refused to enforce the arrest warrant for Bashir accusing the ICC of targeting African leaders.