Sudan militia leader to face war crimes trial

darfur suspect

Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a decision on July 9, unanimously confirming charges against Sudanese militia leader Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman. Consequently, Abd-Al-Rahman, who is also known as Ali Kushayb, was committed to trial before an ICC trial chamber. Abd-Al-Rahman was a top commander of the Janjaweed militia, and one of the most senior leaders in the tribal hierarchy in Wadi Salih locality, Central Darfur state. He is also a leader of the Popular Defense Forces, the more regularized successor to the Janjaweed. He is alleged to have led pro-government campaigns against Darfur rebel groups, ultimately displacing 40,000 and murdering 300 civilians.

While the arrest warrant listed 53 counts of criminal conduct, the court found that there were substantial grounds indicating that Abd-Al-Rahman is responsible for 31 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed between August 2003 and April 2004 in Darfur.

Abd-Al-Rahman faces the following charges: intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population; murder as a war crime and crime against humanity; pillaging as a war crime; destruction of the property of an adversary as a war crime; other inhumane acts as crimes against humanity; outrages upon personal dignity as a war crime; rape as a war crime and crime against humanity; forcible transfer as a crime against humanity; persecution as a crime against humanity; torture as a war crime and crime against humanity; cruel treatment as a war crime; and attempted murder as a war crime and crime against humanity.

Abd-Al-Rahman has been in ICC’s custody since June 2020, after voluntarily surrendering himself in the Central African Republic. Shortly after, he made an initial appearance before the ICC. The hearing for the confirmation of the charges was held before the court in May 2021. The decision of the court can only be appealed with the consent of the court itself.

From Jurist, July 11. Used with permission.

Photo via Radio Dabanga

  1. First ICC trial over Darfur war crimes opens

    The first trial over atrocities in Sudan’s Darfur region opened at the International Criminal Court (ICC), nearly 20 years after widespread violence left hundreds of thousands dead. Accused former militia leader Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman faces 31 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including persecution, murder, rape, and torture. Abd-Al-Rahman, in his 70s, is also accused of being a senior commander of thousands of pro-government Janjaweed fighters during the height of the Darfur conflict. (Reuters)