Two brothers of ousted Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir have been arrested, a spokesman for the military transition council said late Wednesday.
Abdullah and Abbas al-Bashir were detained in Khartoum state as part of a series of arrests of people who were “symbols” of the ousted regime as well as those suspected of corruption, he said.
Authorities were still searching for other wanted people who had disappeared, he added.
Media reports earlier this week said hundreds of former regime members had been detained but it was the first time the military had confirmed the arrests.
The spokesman made no mention of the whereabouts of al-Bashir himself. A member of his party told dpa he was transferred to prison on Wednesday, after he was deposed in a military coup last week.
“Bashir was transferred by military helicopter to the prison,” said the senior National Congress Party official, who did not want to be named.
The official added that al-Bashir was taken from the house where he was being held to Kobar Prison, where he had sent many of his political opponents and a far cry from his luxurious palace.
Al-Bashir – who governed Sudan for 30 years – was arrested last week in a military coup that followed months of anti-government protests.
Protesters are continuing a sit-in outside military headquarters because they want a swift transition from army rule to a civilian government.
Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague for war crimes and genocide in the Darfur region, but it is unclear whether he will be handed over.
A member of the military transition council in power said this week that the decision would be up to the next civilian government.
Neighbouring Uganda, however, has said al-Bashir would be welcome to live out his days there, and the country would not extradite him.
“If Bashir came to Uganda, he will be welcome. What is wrong with giving him asylum?” said Henry Okello Oryem, Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs in charge of international relations.
“If Bashir applies for asylum to come here, we will consider it and we will not be apologetic to the ICC. We think the ICC has no credibility any more. It is finished,” he added.
Responding to the news of Bashir’s transfer to prison, Amnesty International urged authorities to hand him over to the ICC.
“Omar al-Bashir stands accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, and must be immediately handed over to the International Criminal Court for due process to be followed,” Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s East Africa director, said in a statement.
“His case must not be hurriedly tried in Sudan’s notoriously dysfunctional legal system. Justice must be served,” she added.