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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Darfur war crimes suspect Kushayb to face ICC judges next week

A victim of Janjaweed brutality in Darfur shows his scars [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 June, 2020

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Ali Kushayb, a former close ally of ousted Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, was transferred to The Hague on Tuesday after earlier handing himself over in the Central African Republic.
Sudanese militiaman Ali Kushayb will next week face International Criminal Court judges for the first time since turning himself in to face war crimes charges over the Darfur conflict, the tribunal said Thursday.

The Hague-based ICC also unveiled a second arrest warrant against the longtime fugitive, containing further alleged crimes committed in his role as a senior commander in the notorious Janjaweed militia.

Kushayb, a former close ally of ousted Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, was transferred to The Hague on Tuesday after earlier handing himself over in the Central African Republic.

He had spent 13 years on the run since the initial 2007 warrant for his arrest.

"His first appearance is scheduled for June 15, 2020," the ICC said in a statement.

Kushayb is expected to be formally informed of the charges against him by the ICC's pre-trial judges.

The UN says about 300,000 people were killed and 2.5 million displaced in the Darfur conflict, which erupted in 2003 when ethnic African rebels took up arms against Khartoum's then Arab-dominated government, led by Bashir.

ICC prosecutors say Kushayb, believed to be around 63 years old, was a top commander in the Janjaweed, a group of mostly Arab raiding nomads recruited by Bashir's government who often rode horses or camels.

The original warrant contained 50 allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity and the second arrest warrant unveiled on Thursday contains three more counts.

Bashir, who ruled Sudan with an iron fist for three decades, was deposed in April last year following months of protests in Sudan, and is also wanted by the ICC.

Kushayb fled to the Central African Republic in February when the new Sudanese government announced its intention to cooperate with the ICC's investigation.

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