Sudan’s ruling party said on Friday it would back its leader President Omar Al-Bashir as a candidate in the 2020 election, reported the state news agency SUNA.
However, the political move would require a constitutional amendment, as the 2005 constitution stipulates that the president stays in office for two terms only.
The Shura Council of the National Congress party recognised Al-Bashir as a candidate for the coming election and has ordered relevant bodies to carry out the necessary measures for this move.
In November 2017, Al-Bashir visited Russia and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Black Sea resort of Sochica, a month after the United States lifted a trade embargo it had imposed on Sudan in 1997 over Khartoum’s alleged backing of Islamist militant groups. US President Donald Trump also removed Sudan from the list of countries facing the current US travel ban.
Al-Bashir, however, who rose to power in 1989, is on the International Criminal Court’s wanted list for committing crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region.
International Criminal Court prosecutors issued warrants for his arrest in 2009 and 2010, and called for his resignation, but Bashir continues to deny the charges against him.
Sudan’s deadly conflict in Darfur broke out in 2003 when ethnic minority groups took up arms against Bashir’s Arab-dominated government, accusing it of discrimination and neglect. The United Nations says that the ensuing counterinsurgency left at least 300,000 people in Sudan dead and more than 2.5 million displaced in the impoverished African state as a result of the conflict.
Top Sudanese officials claim that the conflict has ended, but the region continues to see regular fighting between numerous ethnic and tribal groups.