Foreign Policy Blogs

First Arrest Warrants Issued by the ICC Regarding Darfur

Ahmed HarounThe International Criminal Court (ICC) issued its first ever arrest warrants against officials allegedly involved in crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. The arrest warrants were issued for humanitarian affairs minister, Ahmen Haround, and Janjaweed militia leader, Ali Muhammad Ali Abd al-Rahman (a/k/a Ali Kushayb). As the former minister of the interior, the ICC claims that Mr. Haroun was responsible for organizing and funding the Janjaweed paramilitary force, the principle actors in the atrocities in Darfur. The ICC alleges Mr. Kushayb ordered the mass murder, torture, and rape of civilians. Haroun faces several charges, including 13 murder charges, 4 charges of rape, and one count of torture, among others. Included in his arrest warrant, Kushayb faces at least 11 counts of murder, two counts of rape, and one count of torture. Haroun claims innocence and has stated the charges are politically motivated. Kushayb is currently in the custody of the Sudanese government.

Sudanese officials have stated they will not turn over the suspects to the ICC because it does not recognize its authority. According to the principle of complimentarity, the ICC may only compliment a national court system and does not replace that system if one is open and functioning. Sudan has said it is capable of trying suspects of accused atrocities and does not need assistance from the ICC. The referral of the Sudanese case, however, was made under mandate by the United Nations Security Council in 2005, which would theoretically obligate Sudan to comply or face material breach. The prosecutor for the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, stated that "[t]he judges have issued arrest warrants. As the territorial state, the government of Sudan has a legal duty to arrest Ahmed Haroun and Ali Kushayb. This is the International Criminal Court's decision, and the government has to respect it." Human Rights Watch officials have said in comments to Agence France-Presse that the arrest warrants "shifts the burden to Sudan" to honor the UN Security Council resolution.

US President Bush has recently declared the atrocities in Darfur are genocide. And, according to the report, the Sudanese government is smuggling weapons into Darfur by disguising official planes as UN vehicles and is using government planes to conduct bombing raids.


ICC arrest warrant: Ahmed Haround, Ali Kushayb

FPA blogger, Cassandra Clifford, has background here.



Daniel Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer for United Press International covering Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader Levant. He has published works on international and constitutional law pertaining to US terrorism cases and on child soldiers. His first major work, entitled The United States and Israel: The Implications of Alignment, is featured in the text, Strategic Interests in the Middle East: Opposition or Support for US Foreign Policy. He holds a MA in Diplomacy and International Conflict Management from Norwich University, where his focus was international relations theory, international law, and the role of non-state actors.

Areas of Focus:International law; Middle East; Government and Politics; non-state actors