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More than 15 years in the making – a referral by the United Nations Security Council was in 2005 – the first ever Darfur trial kicked off last week at the ICC, with the confirmation of charges hearing of Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-al-Rahman.
Also known as ‘Ali Kushayb’ – although the defence contests a lot about the nickname including whether it refers to a tough fibre or not – he allegedly was a senior commander of pro-government “Janjaweed” militias during the Darfur conflict in 2003-2004. He’s now facing 31 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. His defence team has already argued that he is not the man the ICC is looking for and is also planning to contest the court’s jurisdiction over Darfur because of issues with the UN referral.
Abd-al-Rahman was apprehended in June last year, when he surrendered himself in the Central African Republic. Another ICC wanted man for crimes committed in Darfur, former Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, is in prison in Khartoum after being deposed in 2019.
This podcast has been published as part of a partnership between JusticeInfo.net and Asymmetrical Haircuts, a podcast on international justice produced from The Hague by journalists Janet Anderson and Stephanie van den Berg, who retain full control and independence over the contents of the podcast.