Sudanese rebels surrender to ICC

Two Sudanese rebel leaders suspected of committing war crimes related to the ongoing Darfur violence surrendered June 16 to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain (Banda) and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus (Jerbo) are suspected in connection with the September 2007 attack on African Union (AU) peacekeeping troops at Haskanita, which resulted in the death of 12 peacekeepers. Summonses for Banda and Jerbo were issued under seal by Pre-Trial Chamber I last August and include charges of murder, intentionally attacking a peacekeeping mission, and “pillaging.”

ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo praised the voluntary appearance of the men saying, “It shows the importance of co-operation by all parties to the conflict, as required by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1593.” Ocampo also indicated that the appearance of the men means that the ICC will have the chance to prosecute all suspects they wished to prosecute in connection with the Haskanita attack. A third rebel leader, Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, was charged by the ICC earlier this year in connection with the attack, but the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. Banda and Jerbo are scheduled to make their first appearance before the court tomorrow.

Last week, Ocampo called on the UN Security Council to support the arrest of two other Sudanese men who have been indicted for war crimes in Sudan. Ocampo urged the Security Council to secure the execution of the outstanding arrest warrants for Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb in light of the fact that the Sudanese government, which bears the primary responsibility to do so, has not. Last month, Ocampo referred Sudan to the Security Council for lack of cooperation in the pursuit of Harun and Kushayb. Sudan, which is not a permanent member of the ICC under the Rome Statute, refuses to recognize the court’s jurisdiction, stating that “the International Criminal Court has no place in this crisis at all.”

From Jurist, June 16. Used with permission.

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