The Sudanese billionaire who is the founder and chairman of Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which awards exemplary former democratic African heads of state with $5 million, wants Bashir to go scot-free if he agrees to resign.
“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,” he said while speaking in an interview with the BBC.
Bashir, who came to power in 1989, is wanted by the court for alleged genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.
“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,” Mo Ibrahim said.
However, Bashir dismissed calls for him to step down even as security forces fired tear gas to break up a demonstration in the eastern city of Al-Qadarif.
“We have no problem because the army does not move to support traitors, but moves to support the homeland and its achievements,” Bashir said, according to excerpts of the speech broadcast by a TV channel affiliated to his ruling party.
Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has also rejected calls for President Omar al-Bashir to resign in the wake of protests, arguing that this would be contrary to the national consensus reached after dialogue in 2016.
Since December 19th 2018 when anti-government protest broke out at least 19 people have been killed and hundreds wounded during the protests over the high cost of living. Human rights group Amnesty International puts the death toll at 37.
The government raised the price of a loaf of bread from one Sudanese pound to three (from about two to six US cents) sparking the protests.
Sudan is facing an acute foreign exchange crisis and soaring inflation despite Washington lifting an economic embargo in October 2017.
Inflation is currently running at 70 percent and the Sudanese pound has plunged in value, while shortages of bread and fuel have hit several cities.
The foreign exchange crisis has steadily escalated since Sudan’s partition in 2011, when South Sudan broke away, taking with it the bulk of oil revenues.