The ICC Prosecutor requests an arrest warrant against the Sudanese Minister of Defense

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its Sudanese member organisation, the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) welcome the request, on December 2, 2011 of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for an arrest warrant against Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, current Sudanese Defense Minister, for charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in Darfur.

Hussein was Sudan’s Interior Minister and the President’s special representative for Darfur during the period 2003-2004, a time of intense conflict. « The ICC Prosecutor is detemined to end impunity of the most responsible for the most serious crimes committed in Sudan » said Osman Hummaida , Executive Director of ACJPS. « He now urgently needs the full and effective cooperation of States » he added.

"This indictment is particularly important as Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein is now leading the violent repression in South Khordofan and Blue Nile" said Mr. Sidiki KABA, FIDH Honorary President. "It’s a strong message to stop crimes in Sudan and the opening of negotiations for a political transition and the establishment of genuine democracy in this country" he added.

FIDH and ACJPS recall all States of their obligations to fully cooperate with the ICC for the execution of the arrest warrants concerning the situation in Sudan.

Background

The ICC has already issued arrest warrants for Ahmad Harun, Sudanese Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, and Ali Kushayb, a Janjaweed militia leader, and for President Omar Al Bashir, including for charges of genocide. However they are still at large, and protected by the State apparatus.

The court has secured the appearance of three rebel leaders accused of an attack on African peacekeepers. Bahr Idriss Abu Garda has been cleared during the confirmation of charges hearings last year. The other two Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus are awaiting trial in The Hague though they don’t intend to contest carrying out the assault according to court documents.

According to the treaty founding the ICC, there is no immunity from prosecution for crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes; those who have committed the most serious crimes cannot escape international justice regardless of their official capacity.

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