Feb 27, 2007 (THE HAGUE) — Today ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo presents evidence showing that Ahmad Muhammad Harun, former Minister of State for the Interior of the Government of the Sudan, and Ali Kushayb, a leader of the Militia/Janjaweed, jointly committed crimes against the civilian population in Darfur.
Based on evidence collected during the last 20 months, the Prosecution has concluded there are reasonable grounds to believe that Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb, (also known as Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman) bear criminal responsibility in relation to 51 counts of alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes. The evidence shows they acted together, and with others, with the common purpose of carrying out attacks against the civilian populations.
The crimes were allegedly committed during attacks on the villages and towns of Kodoom, Bindisi, Mukjar, and Arawala in West Darfur between August 2003 and March 2004. The Prosecution has focused on some of the most serious incidents and the individuals who, according to the evidence, bear the greatest responsibility for those incidents.
In early 2003, Ahmad Harun was appointed as head of the “Darfur Security desk”. The most prominent of his coordination tasks was his management of, and personal participation in, the recruitment, funding and arming of Militia/Janjaweed – forces that would ultimately number in the tens of thousands. During a public meeting, Ahmad Harun said that as the head of the “Darfur Security desk”, he had been given “all the power and authority to kill or forgive whoever in Darfur for the sake of peace and security.”
The conflict involved rebel attacks on Sudanese Government installations in Darfur and a counterinsurgency campaign by the Sudanese Government against the rebels. The attacks carried out on towns and villages in Darfur did not target any rebel presence. Rather, they targeted civilian residents based on the rationale that they were supporters of the rebel forces.
The evidence shows that on several occasions Ahmad Harun incited the Militia/Janjaweed to carry out such attacks. For example, in early August 2003, prior to an attack on Mukjar, Ahmad Harun gave a speech where he stated that “since the children of the Fur had become rebels, all the Fur and what they had, had become booty” of the Militia/Janjaweed.
Ali Kushayb, an “Aqid al Oqada” (“colonel of colonels”) in West Darfur, was commanding thousands of Militia/Janjaweed by mid-2003. The evidence shows that Ali Kushayb issued orders to Militia/Janjaweed and armed forces to victimise the civilian populations through mass rape and other sexual offences, killings, torture, inhumane acts, pillaging and looting of residences and marketplaces, the displacement of the resident community and other alleged criminal acts.
The Prosecution has devoted considerable resources to assessing the admissibility of this case. Although investigations in the Sudan do involve Ali Kushayb, they are not in respect of the same incidents or conduct that are the subject of the case now before the Court. Therefore, the case is admissible.
The Pre-Trial Chamber I will review the evidence. If the judges determine that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the named individuals committed the alleged crimes, they will decide on the best manner to ensure their appearance in court.
The Prosecutor briefs the press in the ICC’s media centre at 14h00. A live web-cast of the press briefing is available through the ICC’s web site, www.icc-cpi.int.
Fact Sheet on the OTP’s work to investigate and prosecute crimes in Darfur