Sudanese militia leader and war crimes suspect Ali Kushayb has been arrested, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced June 9. Kushayb surrendered to authorities in a northern area of the Central African Republic, near the border with Sudan. This comes more than 13 years after the arrest warrant was issued. The warrant details 22 charges of crimes against humanity and 28 war crimes charges, including murder, rape and pillage. The warrant further claims Kushayb commanded thousands of Janjaweed militia fighters from 2003-4, personally taking part in the rape and murder of civilians during the Darfur conflict. He also held commanding positions in Sudan’s Popular Defense Forces and the Central Reserve Police.
The ICC took custody of Kushayb the night of his arrest. In a report to the UN Security Council, the office of the prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said:
I hope that the suspect’s transfer to the Court…sends a clear and unequivocal message that no matter how long it takes or the obstacles placed in our path, my Office will not stop until the alleged perpetrators of Rome Statute crimes are brought to justice.
The ICC has not yet set a date for Kushayb to appear.
From Jurist, June 11. Used with permission.
Note: Sudan in 2007 issued its own warrant for Ali Kushayb, but this was dismissed by advocates of justice for Darfur as a “pseudo-indictment” that the regime never intended to act on. Deposed strongman Omar Bashir has been arrested by Sudanese authorities, but has not yet been trasferred to the ICC.
Photo via Radio Dabanga