HAGUE — Sudanese war crimes fugitive Ali Kushayb is in the detention centre of the International Criminal Court after surrendering in the Central African Republic, the court said on Tuesday.
The court issued an arrest warrant for Kushayb in 2007, accusing him of murder, rape and looting in the western region of Darfur between 2003 and 2004.
The court’s prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda said Kushayb’s surrender and transfer into the court’s custody nearly two decades after the Darfur conflict raged was “a powerful and somber reminder that the victims of atrocity crimes in the Darfur region of Sudan have waited too long to see justice done.”
Prosecutors say Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, better known as Ali Kushayb, was a top commander of pro-government Janjaweed militias that led attacks on towns and villages and is implicated in at least 199 murders and the forcing of 40,000 mainly Fur civilians from their homes.
Brad Brooks-Rubin, managing director of The Sentry, a watchdog group co-founded by George Clooney, said the surrender of Ali Kushayb to the ICC is a modest triumph for the cause of accountability for atrocity crimes in Africa.
“This represents a glimpse of hope for people in Darfur and around the world who desperately seek justice and security but are too often forgotten,” he said.
Dr. Suliman Baldo, senior analyst at The Sentry, said Ali Kushayb’s transfer to the ICC offers a stark reminder to all that two million Sudanese victims of the Bashir regime’s 2003-2005 genocidal campaign in Darfur are still awaiting justice in camps for the war-displaced in their own country.
“Sudanese transitional authorities must follow suit and act on their commitment to cooperate with the ICC by handing the three detained ICC fugitives to the Court — former dictator Bashir, his minister of defense, and the state minister of interior during the Darfur genocide,” he said.
No immediate date was set for Kushayb to appear before the court.
Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is also wanted by the ICC. He faces charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for atrocities committed by pro-government forces in Darfur.