Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has been sentenced to two years in house arrest for money laundering and corruption. The judge in charge in the Sudanese capital Khartoum said that he had to serve the sentence in a care facility. Because of his old age, the 75-year-old was not sentenced to prison under Sudanese law. His assets had been confiscated.
The lawsuit was about $ 25 million that the previous ruler had received from Saudi Arabia shortly before his fall about eight months ago. Al-Bashir had been threatened with more than ten years in prison. The verdict is the first of a whole series of trials against the long-term ruler who fell in the spring. The 75-year-old is also under arrest from the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes and genocide in the Darfur region. According to the court, Al-Bashir will only begin the sentence now imposed on him if the other lawsuits against him have passed the sentence. He also has to answer for the death of demonstrators. It is not clear whether he will be delivered to The Hague.
After months of mass protests, the military deposed Head of State Bashir in April. Bashir has ruled the country since a coup in 1989. After his arrest, millions of dollars, euros and Sudanese pounds were discovered in his home.
Since the separation of African Sudan in 2011, the Arab-dominated, strictly Islamic country under Bashir, has been in a severe economic crisis. In addition to the loss of the southern oil fields, the reasons for this are the neglect of agriculture. Their export orientation, from which the power elite benefited, has tripled bread prices, which ultimately triggered the protests.
Another reason for poverty in the country is that the United States has included Sudan on its list of countries that support terrorism since 1993. This blocks foreign investment and aid from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
After there were protests against the military council set up after the fall of Bashir, the military and civil society representatives agreed on a "sovereign council". It is said to consist of half of the military and half of civilians, and is managed by the former UN economic expert Abdalla Hamdok. This transitional government will run for three years and three months; until then there will be elections.