Trial of Former Janjaweed Commander Begins

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has begun the trial of Ali Mohammed Ali Abd-al Rahman, also known as Ali Kushayb, a former Janjaweed commander.

In 2004, former US Secretary of State Colin Powell concluded that a genocide took place in Darfur, Sudan based in part on data gathered by the US State Department.

The ICC charged Abd-al Rahman with thirty-one counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the death of people, rape, torture, and other brutal treatment in Darfur.

Abd-al Rahman eluded capture for 13 years after a warrant was issued for his arrest in 2007, he was eventually arrested in the Central African Republic and transferred to the ICC in 2020, due to efforts of the authorities of the Central African Republic, Chad, France, and the leaders of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

“This trial is a signal to those responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Darfur that impunity will not last in the face of the determination for justice to prevail.” said the US State Department.

The event marks the first trial of any senior leader for crimes perpetrated by the Omar al-Bashir administration and government-supported forces following the genocide and other atrocities committed in Darfur.

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