Sudanese militia leader Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, known also as Ali Kushayb, appeared on Monday before the International Criminal Court (ICC) on multiple war crimes charges for crimes allegedly committed in the Darfur region between 2003 and 2004.
Identified as the top commander of the Janjaweed by the prosecution, Abd-Al-Rahman has been charged with 53 counts of humanitarian war crimes. Charges include murder, burning villages and forcible displacement. During the 2003 Darfur war, rebel groups seeking to end the systemic discrimination in western Sudan were met with conflict from the pro-government militia groups, leading to war. Abd-Al-Rahman has been accused of leading the attack that displaced 40,000 civilians and killed more than 300 people.
While this hearing only stood to establish the identity of Abd-Al-Rahman and the charges brought against him, the trial is set for December 9. Chief prosecutor. Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda stated that the detention of Abd-Al-Rahman, who was on the run until April, was “pivotal” and said that his actions constituted the “world’s most serious crimes under international law.”