THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Judges at the International Criminal Court have ruled that a Sudanese suspect can be charged with 31 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and ordered the first court trial linked to the outpouring blood in the Sudanese region of Darfur.
In a ruling released on Friday, judges said Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman would face 31 charges, including persecution, murder, rape and torture.
Prosecutors accuse Abd-Al-Rahman, who they say was also called Ali Kushayb, of being a senior commander of thousands of pro-government “Janjaweed” fighters at the height of the Darfur conflict between 2003 and 2004.
“The trial chamber (…) refers Mr. Abd-Al-Rahman to a trial chamber to be tried on the charges as confirmed,” says the decision. No date has yet been set for the start of the trial.
The conflict in Darfur erupted in 2003 when mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms against the Sudanese government, accusing it of neglecting the arid western region.
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Khartoum mobilized mainly Arab militias to crush the revolt, unleashing a wave of violence that Washington and some activists say amounted to genocide.
Former Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who faces ICC charges for orchestrating genocide and other atrocities in Darfur, was deposed in 2019 and remains in prison in Khartoum.
(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Giles Elgood)
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