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ICC Prosecutor Presents New Case in Darfur

By International Criminal Court (ICC)
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THE HAGUE, Netherland, December 2, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Today the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, requested Pre-Trial Chamber I to issue an arrest warrant against the current Sudanese Defense Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur from August 2003 to March 2004.

The evidence allowed the Office of the Prosecutor to conclude that Mr. Hussein is one of those who bears the greatest criminal responsibility for the same crimes and incidents presented in previous warrants of arrest for Ahmed Harun and Ali Kushayb issued by the Court on 27 April 2007. Mr. Hussein was then Minister for the Interior for the Government of Sudan and Special Representative of the President in Darfur, with all of the powers and responsibilities of the President. Mr. Hussein delegated some of his responsibilities to Mr. Harun, the Minister of State for the Interior, whom he appointed to head the “Darfur Security Desk.”

The crimes were perpetrated during attacks upon the towns and villages of Kodoom, Bindisi, Mukjar and Arawala in the Wadi Salih and Mukjar Localities of West Darfur. The attacks followed a common pattern: the Government of Sudan forces surrounded the villages, the Air Force dropped bombs indiscriminately and foot soldiers, including Militia/Janjaweed, killed, raped and looted the entire village, forcing the displacement of 4 million inhabitants. Currently, 2.5 million remain in camps for Internally Displaced Persons.

In the “Prosecution v. Harun & Kushayb” case, Pre-Trial Chamber I ruled that Local Security Committees coordinated these attacks. They were supervised by State Security Committees which reported to Mr. Harun, who in turn, according to the evidence, reported to Mr. Hussein. “The evidence shows that this was a state policy supervised by Mr. Hussein to ensure the coordination of attacks against civilians”, said Moreno-Ocampo.

“Moreover, the evidence shows that directly and through Mr. Harun, Mr. Hussein played a central role in coordinating the crimes, including in recruiting, mobilizing, funding, arming, training and the deployment of the Militia/Janjaweed as part of the Government of the Sudan forces, with the knowledge that these forces would commit the crimes,” said the Prosecutor.

The Prosecutor considered that Mr. Hussein should be arrested in order to prevent him from continuing with the commission of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.

After careful consideration, the Office of the Prosecutor has decided to publicly seek a warrant against Mr. Hussein to encourage further public focus on Government of the Sudan policy and actions, and promote cooperation in taking action to arrest Mr. Hussein and the 3 other individuals subject to ICC warrants, as established by UN Security Council Resolution 1593 (2005).

The Prosecutor emphasized that Mr. Hussein is presumed innocent and will be given full rights and the opportunity to defend himself. Pre-Trial Chamber I will review the evidence and make a decision on the Prosecution's request.

This is the fourth case of the International Criminal Court in Darfur. To date, ICC judges have issued arrest warrants against Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb - for crimes against humanity and war crimes; warrants of arrest against Omar Al-Bashir for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes; and summonses to appear for rebel leaders Abdallah Banda, Saleh Jerbo and Abu Garda for war crimes.

The Prosecutor will brief the United Nations Security Council on the situation in Darfur on 15 December 2011 at UN Headquarters.