The Minister of Defense leading the bloody repression in Blue Nile and South Kordofan under an ICC arrest warrant for international crimes committed in Darfur

Our organisations demand his immediate transfer to The Hague

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its Sudanese member organisation, the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) welcome the issuance by the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I on 1 March 2012 of an arrest warrant against Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, current Sudanese Defense Minister. ICC judges decided that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Hussein is responsible for crimes against humanity and war crimes, including crimes of sexual violence, allegedly committed in Darfur when he was Sudanese Minister of the Interior and the President’s Special representative for Darfur. Our organisations welcome the inclusion of the crime of rape, recognised as crime against humanity and war crime, in the charges against Mr. Hussein confirming, along with its inclusion in three other pending arrest warrants against Sudanese officials, the gravity and systematicity of these crimes committed in Darfur.

This arrest warrant – the fourth to be issued by the ICC for crimes committed in Darfur – arises while the human rights and humanitarian situation in this region remains source of serious concerns. Reports indicate the pursuit of indiscriminate aerial bombardments and other kinds of attacks against civilians, whereas there is a continuing stalemate in the political peace process.

More, this decision comes out while a violent conflict opposing the Sudanese armed forces (SAF) to the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) is ongoing in the regions of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Since they erupted in June 2011, fightings in these regions have resulted in significant loss of life and the perpetration of serious human rights violations including summary and extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances or acts of torture.

FIDH and ACJPS recall with dismay that Omar al Bashir, President of Sudan and Ahmed Haroun, governor of South Kordofan – who are also facing arrest warrants from the ICC for international crimes committed in Darfur – have, together with Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, supported and encouraged the SAF’s military actions in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. “The role played by those three men in the ongoing violent attacks in South Kordofan and Blue Nile is reminiscent of their role in the Darfur conflict. This is an unbearable example of the threat to peace and security which can emanate from the failure to address accountability”, declared Osman Hummeida, ACJPS Executive Director. “In this context, execution of the outstanding arrests warrants is critical for the sake of both justice and peace in our country,” he added.

"Sudan has lacked any will to cooperate with the ICC and States Parties to the Rome Statute did not demonstrate a strong enough commitment to cooperate with the Court on the situation in Sudan that was referred by the UN Security Council", said Sidiki Kaba, FIDH Honorary President. "We recall all States of their obligations to fully cooperate with the ICC, in particular in relation to the pending execution of all the Darfur linked arrest warrants for charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide", he added.

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