Tuesday, March 8, 2011
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has confirmed war crimes charges against two rebel leaders accused in the September 2007 attack that resulted in the death of 12 peacekeepers in Darfur, and committed them to trial. The decision concerning Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain (Abdallah Banda) and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus (Saleh Jerbo) was announced yesterday. The Pre-Trial Chamber found “substantial grounds” to believe that both men are criminally responsible as co-perpetrators for three war crimes allegedly committed during the attack on the Haskanita camp in South Darfur state, according to a news release issued by the Court.
The crimes alleged are violence to life and attempted violence to life; intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission; and pillaging. The attack resulted in the killing of 12 peacekeepers and the wounding of eight others serving with the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) – a predecessor to the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission, known as UNAMID. It was allegedly carried out by the troops belonging to the Sudanese Liberation Army-Unity (SLA-Unity), which had broken away from the Sudanese Liberation Movement-Army (SLA/M), under the command of Jerbo, jointly with splinter forces of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), under the command of Banda.
An estimated 300,000 people have died and another 3 million have been displaced in Darfur, where rebels have been fighting Government forces and allied Arab militiamen, known as the Janjaweed, since 2003.
The ICC has charged a number of other individuals for alleged crimes committed in Darfur, including Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who in March 2009 became the first sitting head of State to be indicted by the Court, which charged him with two counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity.
(mew) (from a UN Press Release)