Sudanese Battle Crimes Suspect Arrested After 13 Years on the Run

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BANGUI, Central African Republic — A Sudanese militia chief who’s charged with 50 crimes in opposition to humanity and warfare crimes associated to the battle in Darfur, has been arrested greater than 13 years after a warrant was issued for him, the authorities stated Tuesday.

Ali Kushayb, the militia chief, surrendered to the authorities in a distant nook of northern Central African Republic, close to the nation’s border with Sudan, the Worldwide Felony Courtroom spokesman Fadi El Abdallah stated. The court docket stated in an announcement that it was detaining Mr. Kushayb, however didn’t instantly elaborate on the place he was being held.

Within the Darfur battle, rebels from the territory’s ethnic central and sub-Saharan African neighborhood launched an insurgency in 2003, complaining of oppression by the Arab-dominated authorities in Khartoum.

The federal government responded with a scorched-earth assault of aerial bombings and unleashed militias often known as the janjaweed, who’re accused of mass killings and rapes. As much as 300,000 folks had been killed and a couple of.7 million had been pushed from their properties.

Mr. Kushayb is accused of commanding hundreds of janjaweed militia in 2003-04 and of performing as a go-between for the militia and the Sudanese authorities. The court docket says he “personally participated in a few of the assaults in opposition to civilians” and allegedly “enlisted fighters, armed, funded and offered meals and different provides to the janjaweed militia below his command.”

Among the many offenses listed on his arrest warrant are homicide, rape, persecution and pillage.

No rapid date was set for Mr. Kushayb to look earlier than the court docket. He faces a most sentence of life imprisonment if convicted.

The lawyer common of the Central African Republic, Eric Didier Tambo, confirmed to The Related Press that Mr. Kushayb had been extradited to The Hague within the Netherlands on Tuesday after having been delivered to Bangui the day earlier than.

An Worldwide Felony Courtroom arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Kushayb in 2007.

Mr. Kushayb and former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir evaded arrest on warfare crimes prices for greater than a decade amid reluctance by different African nations to hold out arrest warrants.

Mr. al-Bashir, who’s accused of crimes together with genocide, traveled overseas freely and it was not till after he was deposed final yr that Sudanese authorities agreed to extradite him to The Hague. Nevertheless, the ex-president has not but been turned over to the Worldwide Felony Courtroom.

Human Rights Watch welcomed Mr. Kushayb’s detention.

“At this time is a landmark day for justice for victims of atrocities dedicated throughout Darfur and their households,” stated Elise Keppler, affiliate director of the group’s Worldwide Justice Program. “The world watched in horror as Sudan’s authorities carried out brutal assaults on Darfur civilians, killing, raping, burning and looting villages, beginning in 2003. However after 13 years, justice has lastly caught up with one main fugitive of the crimes.

Mr. Kushayb’s arrest underscored the function of the Worldwide Felony Courtroom, which has confronted fierce criticism from the US.

“Justice is just not all the time instantly doable, making the I.C.C.’s function as a everlasting court docket so vital,” she stated. “I.C.C. arrest warrants haven’t any expiration date, however do depend on cooperation from states to be enforced.”

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