May 14 (UPI) — Former Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir faces criminal charges for “inciting” and “criminal complicity” in the deaths of protesters who sought to overthrow him, the transitional military government said.
The charges come at a time of heightened violence in the African nation. Violent clashes between protesters and authorities resumed Tuesday and resulted in at least six deaths, including an army officer. Some protesters are demanding civilian rule in the aftermath of al-Bashir’s three-decade rule. The Sudanese military denied any responsibility for the deaths.
Protests against the former president began late last year as inflation increased the cost of living. Bashir cracked down hard on protesters until he was removed by the military last month. He’s now being held in the Kober maximum security prison, where Bashir sent many of his political enemies during his presidency.
Sudanese prosecutors said they’re focused on the death of Dr. Babiker Salama, who was shot during demonstrations in January while trying to help the injured. His death incited anger among the public, who considered Salama a martyr.
Al-Bashir is also wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity and actions in Darfur between 2003 and 2008. Sudan’s military, which now controls the country, said it would prosecute Bashir and will not extradite him.
The Transitional Military Council plans to remain in power for two years, but protesters and many in the international community want it replaced with a civilian government.