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Sudan's military council says not to hand al-Bashir to Int'l

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KHARTOUM, April 12 (Xinhua) -- Sudan's transitional military council said on Friday that it will not hand President Omar al-Bashir over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for trial.

"We, as a military council, and during our period, will not hand over the president for trial outside," Omer Zainal-Abdin, chairman of the Political Committee in Sudan's Transitional Military Council, said at a press conference in the capital Khartoum.

"These are our values and our morals. We will not hand over a Sudanese person to be tried outside, but we will try him. We have the judiciary and the law," he noted.

Zainal-Abdin vowed to hold killers of the protesters accountable, as Sudan has been witnessing mass protests since Dec. 19 last year.

The chairman also stressed readiness of the military council to consider shortening the transitional period, which was set for two years, according to the security and political circumstances.

As for the suspension of the constitution, he explained that the move came as a result of the declaration of the state of emergency, expressing the council's readiness to lift the suspension if asked.

He disclosed that the council will initiate dialogue on Friday, starting with political leaders and the protesters, to listen to people's views in order to reach solutions.

Zainal-Abdin acknowledged the people's right of demonstration, but pointed out that the council would deal decisively with any person who blocks a road or a bridge.

He said the task of the council is to maintain the security and stability of Sudan, affirming that they would not tolerate any chaos.

He stressed the council's readiness to form a civil government which would include the Defense and Interior Ministries.

On Thursday, Sudan's Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf announced the ouster of al-Bashir and his government.

He assumed the chairmanship of a transitional military council to rule the country during a period of two years.

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