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ICC issues arrest warrant for Sudan defense minister

Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] issued [press release] an arrest warrant [text, PDF] on Thursday for Sudanese Defense Minister Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein. He is charged with 41 counts of crimes committed in Darfur [JURIST news archive], including 20 counts of crimes against humanity (including persecution, murder, forcible transfer, rape, inhumane acts, imprisonment or severe deprivation of liberty and torture) and 21 counts of war crimes (including murder, attacks against civilian population, destruction of property, rape, pillaging and outrage upon personal dignity). The arrest warrant found that the main victims of these crimes were the Fur populations. At the time of the alleged crimes, Hussein was the Minister of the Interior and the President's Special Representative in Darfur. The Court held that there was sufficient evidence to support the allegations:

[T]here are reasonable grounds to believe that, in his role as Minister of the Interior and Special Representative of the President in Darfur and as an influential member of the Government of the Republic of the Sudan, Mr Hussein made essential contributions to the formulation and implementation of the common plan, inter alia, through the recruitment, arming and funding of the police forces and the Militia/Janjaweed in Darfur.
Considering such evidence, the court determined that an arrest is necessary "to ensure his appearance at trial and to ensure that he will not obstruct or endanger the investigations."

The ICC has now issued the fourth arrest warrant against high officials alleged to be involved in crimes committed in Darfur. Chief Prosecutor for the ICC Luis Moreno-Ocampo submitted an application [JURIST report] for the arrest warrant in December. The ICC has already issued warrants for Ahmad Muhammad Harun [arrest warrant, PDF], former Sudanese interior minister and current humanitarian affairs minister, President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir [case materials, PDF], and Ali Kushayb [arrest warrant, PDF], former senior Janjaweed commander. However, Sudan remains uncooperative [JURIST report] in pursuing alleged war criminals. ICC released a decision that asked the UN Security Council to take measures in compelling Sudan to comply its obligations under Resolution 1593 [text, PDF].

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