ICC confirms war crimes charges against Darfur militia leader

Amsterdam, July 10, (dpa/GNA) - Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Friday there was sufficient evidence for a Sudanese suspect to be charged with 31 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The decision paves the way for a trial against Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, a former warlord active in Darfur, a region of Sudan that was plagued by ethnic fighting nearly two decades ago.

Abd-Al-Rahman, who is around the age of 70, is accused of murders, rapes, torture, pillaging and destruction of property, among other crimes, over a time span from August 2003 to April 2004.

A date for the trial has yet to be set.

The ICC launched investigations into crimes in Darfur some 15 years ago.

Abd-Al-Rahman, also known as Ali Kushayb, surrendered to the court last year.

According to the charges, he was one of the key leaders in the Janjaweed, a thousands-strong militia that operated in Darfur between 2003 and 2006, and is responsible for the deaths of 300,000 people.

The UN estimates that nearly 2 million people fled violence during the fighting in Darfur.

The court also wants to try former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, who remains in custody in Sudan after he was ousted from power in 2019. He is wanted on genocide charges.