ICC Requests Arrest Warrant for Sudanese Defense Minister

Posted December 2nd, 2011 at 8:20 am (UTC-5)
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The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor has requested an arrest warrant for Sudan's defense minister for alleged war crimes in the Darfur region.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo said Friday that Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein helped to mastermind attacks against villages in Darfur between August 2003 and March 2004.

A statement says the attacks followed a pattern in which the villages were surrounded, bombed by the Sudanese air force, then attacked by troops and “Janjaweed” militia, who killed and raped villagers.

A panel of judges at the Hague-based court must now review the evidence and decide whether to issue a warrant for Hussein's arrest.

Hussein was Sudan's interior minister at the time.

The ICC has already indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and another top official on charges of masterminding a campaign of murder, rape, and other crimes in Darfur.

Mr. Bashir has so far avoided arrest by traveling only to countries that will not hand him to the ICC.

Rebels in Darfur took up arms against the Bashir government in 2003, accusing the government of neglecting their region. The U.N. says more than 300,000 people have been killed in the conflict, and 2.7 million others displaced.