A warrant of arrest was issued today against Sudanese Defence Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The Sudanese Minister is to face charges on 41 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in Darfur.
According to ICC, there were sufficient grounds to hold him responsible for 20 counts of crimes against humanity and 21 counts of war crimes.
The Hague-based ICC cites there are “reasonable grounds” to guarantee that Mr. Hussein is criminally responsible for alleged Darfur crimes.
UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran
The crimes against humanity charges against Mr. Hussein involve persecution, murder, forcible transfer, rape, inhumane acts, imprisonment or severe deprivation of liberty and torture.
Mr. Hussein is said to be criminally responsible also for 21 counts of war crimes which include murder, attacks against civilian population, destruction of property, rape, pillaging and outrage upon personal dignity.
Reports say the alleged crimes that Mr. Hussein allegedly responsible for were perpetrated during attacks on the towns and villages of Kodoom, Bindisi, Mukjar and Arawala in the Wadi Salih and Mukjar localities of West Darfur state from August 2003 to March 2004.
The attacks followed a common pattern: Sudanese Government forces surrounded the villages, the Air Force dropped bombs indiscriminately and foot soldiers, including militia or Janjaweed, killed, raped and looted the entire village, forcing the displacement of four million inhabitants.
According to the prosecutor of the ICC who requested the arrest warrant in December, evidence led him to conclude that Mr. Hussein is one of those who bears the greatest criminal responsibility for crimes presented in previous warrants of arrest for government minister Ahmed Harun and Janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb, both of whom have been indicted by the Court.
The two men are accused of targeting civilians in attacks on four villages in West Darfur between August 2003 and March 2004.
This is the ICC’s fourth case in Darfur, which the Security Council referred to it in 2005 after a UN inquiry found serious violations of international human rights law.
In addition, ICC judges have issued arrest warrants against Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. However, Omar al-Bashir denies the charges against him, saying they are politically motivated.
ICC also issued summonses to appear for rebel leaders Abdallah Banda, Saleh Jerbo and Abu Garda for war crimes.
On December 2011, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) requested an arrest warrant against Mr. Hussein for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur.
The UN reports that more than 300,000 people have died in Darfur, mostly from disease, since rebels took up arms in 2003. Currently, 2.5 million people remain internally displaced