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The Colonel of Colonels, at Large and Recruiting Militias

by Mariana on 28 Jan 2013 | Comments


By Mariana Rodriguez Pareja

The conflict in Darfur is not new, and despite some international attention and efforts by human rights activists to stop this ongoing (and apparently never-ending) conflict, it has ruined the lives of over a half million people, with thousands of women being raped, widespread and systematic violence taking place in nearly every form imaginable.

The ICC—complying with the Resolution 1593 of the UNSC in 2005—began the investigation in the region of Darfur and decided to issue five arrest warrants against those who bear the greatest responsibility. Two arrest warrants were issued for the President of the country Omer Hassan al-Bashir, one for his interior, now defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, one for the-now Governor of South Kordofan Ahmad Harun and one for Ali Kushayb. All of them remain at large.

The response from the Sudanese government is total rejection of the Court, with officials regularly firing off false accusations to the now former Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo and even to States who would talk about the apprehension of the war criminals.

Just a few days ago, Radio Dabanga reported that, according to eyewitness, Ali Kushayb has started to mobilize new people in Taham and Umm Nunu, on the border between West and South Darfur.

So, it seems the Janjaweed commander is back to what he does best: recruiting militias in order to train them to commit international crimes against civilian populations.

Ali Mohamed Ali Abdel-Rahman or Ali Kushayb, also known as “The Colonel of Colonels” and “Chief of the Religious Combatants” is a Janjaweed commander who has fought alongside Sudanese government forces in the Mukjar/Wadi Saleh area in West Darfur since 2003. He has been indicted for 50 counts, including 22 counts of crimes against humanity and 28 counts of war crimes. For those who are not familiar with what these crimes entail, they include assassinations, rapes and outrages upon the personal dignity of women and girls, and the forced displacement of people, most of them committed during attacks against four towns and villages, namely Kodoom, Bindisi, Mukjar and Arawala. These crimes were committed against civilians primarily from the Fur, Zaghawa and Masalit populations. They likely represent only a small sample of Kushayb’s activities.

His indictment came two years after the referral by the UN Security Council to the ICC in 2005. In 2008, the Sudanese authorities allegedly arrested Kushayb and released him afterwards, saying that he would “be held accountable for his crimes before a local court.” That never happened. Eyewitnesses in Khartoum told the press that Kushayb was never locked up and even it was reported that his arrest was a publicity stunt to distract attention. Now, this man is openly recruiting militias in the Sudan with total impunity.

The international community must insist on the execution of his arrest warrant, issued in 2007, and must insist that the Government of the Sudan hand him over to the Court for a fair trial. It is the least the international community can do for the reportedly near 500,000 people killed in Darfur, and the millions displaced.

Source: The Huffington Post


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Photo: The Sudan Tribune
Photo: The Sudan Tribune