Today, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo requested that an arrest warrant be issued for current Sudanese Defense Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein for crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in Darfur from August 2003 to March 2004. The Enough Project welcomes this important step to end impunity and bring Hussein to justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Today’s action represents the fourth case opened by the ICC in reference to crimes allegedly committed by Sudanese officials in Darfur. Top on that list are current Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and current governor of South Kordofan Ahmed Harun, the latter of whom Hussein supervised during the period both are alleged to have committed crimes in Darfur.
In a fact sheet assembled by Enough, we provided some background about who Hussein is and where he stands in the security apparatus of Sudan, set out the allegations laid against him today by the ICC in reference to crimes committed in Darfur, and described the crimes for which Enough believes he shares responsibility in Blue Nile, South Kordofan, and Abyei. Enough’s fact sheet identifies that, while serving as the minister of interior and special representative of the president in Darfur, Hussein was “pivotal in the implementation of the ‘counter-insurgency’ operations in Darfur.” The fact sheet describes these ‘counter-insurgency’ operations:
The attacks on Darfuri villages followed a consistent pattern: SAF surrounded communities, the air force used indiscriminate bombing, which was then followed by foot soldiers—including regular forces and Janjaweed militias—entering the village and killing, raping, and looting the civilian population.
More recently, the Sudan Armed Forces, or SAF, has terrorized civilian populations in Blue Nile, South Kordofan, and Abyei with similar tactics, in particular, the indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations. As detailed in the fact sheet, Enough believes that, in the Three Areas, Hussein currently directs the indiscriminate aerial bombing of civilians, forced mass displacement, the use of irregular militias against civilian villages, arbitrary arrest and detention, and extrajudicial killing, just as he did in Darfur. Crimes committed outside Darfur are not, however, within the ICC’s current jurisdiction. This gap in jurisdiction allows Hussein, along with President Bashir and Governor Harun, to continue to perpetrate the crimes they have allegedly committed in Darfur elsewhere in Sudan. The international community should, therefore, immediately explore steps to expand the ICC’s jurisdiction to include crimes committed in the Three Areas.
Photo: Sudanese Defense Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein (U.N. Multimedia)