Two Sudan war crimes suspects voluntarily surrender to ICC

[JURIST] Two Sudanese men suspected of committing war crimes related to the ongoing violence in the Darfur [JURIST news archive] region of Sudan surrendered [press release] Wednesday to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain (Banda) and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus (Jerbo) are suspected in connection with the September 2007 attack on African Union (AU) [official website] peacekeeping troops at Haskanita [BBC backgrounder], which resulted in the death of 12 peacekeepers. Summonses for Banda and Jerbo [text, PDF] were issued under seal by Pre-Trial Chamber I last August and include charges of murder, intentionally attacking a peacekeeping mission, and "pillaging." ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official website] praised the voluntary appearance [press release] of the men saying, "It shows the importance of co-operation by all parties to the conflict, as required by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1593 [text, PDF]." Ocampo also indicated that the appearance of the men means that the ICC will have the chance to prosecute all suspects they wished to prosecute in connection with the Haskanita attack. A third rebel leader, Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, was charged by the ICC earlier this year [case materials] in connection with the attack, but the charges were dropped [JURIST report] due to lack of evidence. Banda and Jerbo are scheduled to make their first appearance before the court tomorrow.

Last week, Ocampo called on the UN Security Council [official website] to support the arrest [statement, PDF; JURIST report] of two other Sudanese men who have been indicted for war crimes in Sudan. Ocampo urged the Security Council to secure the execution of the outstanding arrest warrants for Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb [Trial Watch profiles; case materials] in light of the fact that the Sudanese government, which bears the primary responsibility to do so, has not. The ICC issued arrest warrants [JURIST report] for Harun and Kushayb in 2007 on 51 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes. Kushayb was apprehended and held pending trial, but he appealed [JURIST reports] and was released by the Sudanese government later that year when the government announced that the ICC did not have jurisdiction over Sudanese citizens. Last month, Ocampo referred Sudan to the Security Council [JURIST report] for lack of cooperation in the pursuit of Harun and Kushayb. Sudan, which is not a permanent member of the ICC under the Rome Statute [text], refuses to recognize the court's jurisdiction, stating that "the International Criminal Court has no place in this crisis at all."

 

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