The Hague, March 9, 2011 (FH) - Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) confirmed on March 7 the charges of war crimes brought against two Darfur rebels and committed them to trial.

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Abdallah Banda is Commander-in-Chief of Justice and Equality Movement Collective-Leadership, one of the components of the United Resistance Front (URF). Saleh Jerbo was former Chief of Staff of SLA-Unity and currently integrated into Justice and Equality Mouvement.

Both are charged for their alleged role in the attack of Haskanita, a military compound of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AUMS), perpetrated on September 2007. Twelve peace soldiers were then killed.

According to the ruling issued on March 7, "The Chamber found substantial grounds to believe that the attack was directed to personnel, installations, materiel, units and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations which were entitled to the protection afforded to civilians and civilian objects".

Abdallah Banda and Saleh Jerbo appeared voluntarily before the Court on June 17, 2010, in compliance with summonses to appear issued by the ICC. However, on December 8, 2010, the Chamber held the hearing on the confirmation of the charges in their absence, as they had waived their rights to be present at that hearing.

In 2010, the Court refused to confirm the charges brought by the Prosecution against a third rebel leader, Idriss Abou Garda, for lack of evidence.

The situation in Darfur was referred to the ICC by United Nations Security Council on March 2005. Since then, two arrest warrants have been issued against Sudan's Head of State Omar Al Bashir for genocide and crimes against humanity.


© Hirondelle News Agency