Sudan must surrender an acting Minister and a Janjaweed militia leader to the International Criminal Court

The ICC delivers its first warrants of arrest against those presumably responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur

The Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) delivered yesterday its two first arrest warrants in the framework of the investigation currently carried out on the international crimes committed in Darfur. Ahmad Muhammad Harun (Ahmad Harun), former Minister for the Interior and current Minister in charge of Humanitarian Affaires within the Sudanese Government, and Ali Muhammad Al Abd-Al-Rahman (alias Ali Kushayb), one of the leaders of the Janjaweed militia, are accused of 51 counts of murder, rape, acts of torture and other serious crimes committed against the civilian population, that would constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Court insists also on the complicity links between the former Minister for the Interior and the Janjaweed militia.

These arrest warrants follow the request presented on 27 February by the Prosecutor of the ICC, which concluded that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the persons quoted have committed crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, and requested the Pre-Trial Chamber to decide on the issuance of summons to appear or warrants of arrest. [1]

The Chamber, contrary to the Prosecutor, considered that summons to appear would not be sufficient to ensure the appearance of these persons and therefore issued two arrest warrants, to be transmitted to the Government of Sudan, as well as to all States Parties of the Rome Statute and members of the United Nations Security Council, which referred the situation to the Prosecutor.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Sudan Organisation against Torture (SOAT), its affiliated organisation in Sudan, consider that the Government of Sudan must imperatively cooperate with the Court and immediately surrender to it Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb. Sudan must also allow the Office of the Prosecutor to enter Darfur in order to carry on its investigations and collaborate with all investigative steps taken in Sudan.

FIDH and SOAT call upon all States who are under the obligation to cooperate with the Court to facilitate the execution of the arrest warrants. Additionally, the United Nations Security Council must ensure the effective implementation of Resolution 1593 of March 2005, which referred the situation to the Prosecutor leading to the opening of an investigation on 1 June 2005. [2] In particular, the African Union and the Arab League States must support the action of the ICC in Darfur, by watching over the execution of the warrants of arrest by Sudan and that Sudan cooperates fully with the ICC.

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