SUDAN WATCH: ICC: Darfur rebel leaders charged with war crimes and slaying of peacekeepers at Haskanita, N. Darfur, W. Sudan

Saturday, October 30, 2010

ICC: Darfur rebel leaders charged with war crimes and slaying of peacekeepers at Haskanita, N. Darfur, W. Sudan

ON Friday 22 October 2010, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a statement confirming that Darfur rebel group leaders Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus (Jerbo) are charged with, quote:
three war crimes (violence to life, in the form of murder, whether committed or attempted; intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, materials, units, and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission; and pillaging) allegedly committed during an attack carried out on 29 September, 2007, against the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), a peace-keeping mission stationed at the Haskanita Military Group Site, in the locality of Umm Kadada, North Darfur. It is alleged that the attackers killed 12 and severely wounded 8 soldiers, destroyed communications facilities and other materials and appropriated property belonging to AMIS.
Confirmation of charges hearing in the case against Banda and Jerbo to start on 8 December, 2010. The hearing was initially scheduled to start on 22 November, 2010.

Full story below.



Photo: Jerbo and Banda © ICC-CPI/ Toussaint Kluiters

Darfur rebel figures will not contest charges of killing AU peacekeepers: ICC
Source: Sudaneseonline.org /Sudan Tribune
Date: Wednesday, 20 October 2010. Excerpt:
(WASHINGTON) – Two Sudanese rebel leaders who stand accused of leading a deadly attack on African Union (AU) peacekeepers more than three years ago will not contest the charges at the confirmation hearing scheduled for next month, the prosecutor’s office at the International Criminal Court (ICC) said today.

Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus each face three counts of violence to life in the form of murder, war crime of attacking a peacekeeping mission and pillaging.

The two men allegedly commanded a 1,000-strong rebel force in the Sept. 29, 2007 attack, on the African Mission in Sudan (AMIS) base in Haskanita in North Darfur. They looted the camp of 17 vehicles, refrigerators, computers, mobile phones, ammunition and money.

The attack killed twelve soldiers and severely injured eight others who were mainly from Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Botswana. It was the deadliest single attack on the peacekeepers since they began their mission in late 2004.

Banda was a senior military commander in Darfur’s rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) before he was dismissed during a bitter split among the movement’s governing elite in mid-2007. He went on to form a rival faction, the JEM Collective Leadership, with former JEM vice president Bahar Idriss Abu Garda. The latter appeared voluntarily before the ICC to answer charges relating to the same attack but the court declined to pursue those charges in February citing insufficient evidence to prove his criminal responsibility.

Jerbo on the other hand was a leading figure in the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM)-Unity faction before being removed later for unknown reasons.

The two suspects surrendered voluntarily to the ICC last June, almost a year after a summons of appear was issued for them in secrecy and appeared before a judge to be formally notified of the charges. Presiding judge Sylvia Steiner from Brazil set November 22nd as the date for a hearing to confirm the charges against the two men — a requirement before the case can go to trial.

The weekly briefing issued by the prosecutor on Wednesday revealed that his office and the defense made a joint filing before the Pre-Trial Chamber informing the judges of an agreement between the parties which may allow for a shortened confirmation hearing if the judges so decide.

"The parties agreed that the facts contained in the document containing the charges, which the judges are encouraged to consider, as being proven for the purpose of the confirmation hearing.....the Defence waived its rights to challenge the prosecution evidence, present its own evidence or contest the charges during the hearing. The approach agreed by the parties will involve a limited oral presentation by the Prosecution and the Legal Representatives for Victims as may be ordered by the Chamber," said the prosecutor’s office.

The prosecution described this approach as a "novel" one for the ICC and if approved by the judges "could save judicial time and resources".

"This agreement by the parties is limited to the confirmation hearing. In the event the Pre-Trial Chamber confirms the case for trial, the Defence may at that stage contest any of the charges".

Officials at the prosecutor’s office declined to comment on the new development when contacted by Sudan Tribune. [...]



Photo: Karim Khan (L), the lawyer for Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain (C) and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus (R), both suspected of having committed war crimes in Darfur, speaks at the International Criminal Court in The Hague June 17, 2010 (Reuters/ST)
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Confirmation of charges hearing in the case against Banda and Jerbo to start on 8 December, 2010
Source: International Criminal Court (ICC) /ReliefWeb/APO
Date: Friday, 22 October 2010
ICC-CPI-20101022-PR588
Situation: Darfur, Sudan
Case: The Prosecutor v. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus
Today, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to reschedule the confirmation of charges hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain (Banda) and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus (Jerbo) to Wednesday, 8 December, 2010, in light of developments that have occurred in the composition of Chambers and of the Court schedule, as well as of the number of courtrooms which are available to the Court. The hearing was initially scheduled to start on 22 November, 2010.

The confirmation hearing is held to ensure that no case goes to trial unless there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed the crime with which he or she has been charged. The suspects have the right to attend the hearing or, in their absence, be represented by counsel. Pre-Trial Chamber I decided that, should the suspects intend to waive their right to be present at the confirmation hearing, the written request to the Chamber in this regard must be submitted no later than Monday, 8 November, 2010.

Mr Banda and Mr Jerbo are charged with three war crimes (violence to life, in the form of murder, whether committed or attempted; intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, materials, units, and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission; and pillaging) allegedly committed during an attack carried out on 29 September, 2007, against the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), a peace-keeping mission stationed at the Haskanita Military Group Site, in the locality of Umm Kadada, North Darfur. It is alleged that the attackers killed 12 and severely wounded 8 soldiers, destroyed communications facilities and other materials and appropriated property belonging to AMIS.

This case is the fourth in the situation in Darfur after the cases of The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Muhammad Harun (Ahmad Harun) and Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (Ali Kushayb), The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir and The Prosecutor v. Bahar Idriss Abu Garda.

The suspects (Harun and Kushayb, and Al Bashir) in the first two cases remain at large. Abu Garda appeared voluntarily before the ICC on 18 May, 2009. The confirmation of charges hearing took place from 19 to 29 October, 2009. On 8 February, 2010, Pre-Trial Chamber I declined to confirm the charges against him.

The situation in Darfur was referred to the International Criminal Court by United Nations Security Council resolution 1593 on 31 March, 2005, under article 13(b) of the Rome Statute.

For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Associate Legal Outreach Officer, on +31 (0)70 515-9152 or at fadi.el-abdallah@icc-cpi.int

The ICC's activities can also be followed through YouTube and Twitter

Maanweg 174, 2516 AB The Hague, The Netherlands – Maanweg 174, 2516 AB La Haye, Pays-Bas
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www.icc-cpi.int
Note from Sudan Watch Editor: I say, well done to the ICC for staying on the case and getting at the truth. Any attack on peacekeepers constitutes a war crime. Click on Haskanita label below to view related reports and photos in Sudan Watch archive.
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TOP ICC INVESTIGATOR DIRK FREIMANN

Top ICC investigator jets back, meets team
Source: The Standard, Kenya by Ben Agina and Cyrus Ombat
Date: Friday, 08 October 2010. Snippets:
Top International Criminal Court investigator, Dirk Freimann, a 43-year-old German, joined ICC in 2007 after serving his country’s police for 22 years and has led investigations in Georgia and Bosnia Herzegovina.

He was team leader for investigations against a rebel leader Idriss Abugarda of the United Resistance Front, who was accused of killing peacekeepers in Haskanita in Darfur, Southern Sudan, in 2007.

Abugarda was the first suspect to voluntarily appear before the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber 1 in 2009. He was, however, acquitted for lack of evidence.
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Further Reading

DARFUR CRIMES ATTORNEY ASSURES TO BRING PERPETRATORS TO JUSTICE

Report from: Radio Miraya
Date: Thursday, 28 October 2010 16:15
The General Persecutor of Darfur Crimes Justice, Adbul-Daim Zamrawi, has announced resuming investigations over all crimes committed in the region in the period between 2003 and 2010. In press statements after arrival in the town of Al-Fashir, Northern Darfur State; Zamrawi affirmed the commitment of the Ministry of Justice and achieve righteousness as it's imperative for security and stability.
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RADIO SILA IN GOZ BEIDA, EASTERN CHAD



Photo: Women in the Djabal camp in Eastern Chad listen in groups to Women's Crossroads on Radio Sila, a program produced by Internews. (Photo by United Nations)

  1. Internews - Articles - Radio Sila, Radio for Darfuri Refugees ...

    4 Jun 2007 ... One of them is Radio Sila in Goz Beida, and it broadcasts in Arabic and French, the two languages spoken by Chad's literate communities. ...
    Radio Sila, Radio for Darfuri Refugees, Broadcasts in Zaghawa, Masalit Dialects...

    Fiacre Munezero, an employee at Radio Sila. said that while he was in Goz Beida, the refugees in the camp would run after the car shouting in Arabic, “Radio! Radio!” ”We did not understand what they meant because they usually ask for food, medicine, clothes, and blankets,” he said. “We later learned that they wanted to listen to Radio Sila which is broadcast in the Masalit dialect, and they are looking for transistors,” added Munezero.

    www.internews.org/.../20070604_asharqalawsat_darfur.shtm - Cached - Similar
  2. In Chad, Locals Celebrate their Radio Station's Official Inauguration

    Officials at Radio Sila's inauguration. From left to right, the Sultan of ...
    Broadcasting from a container studio, Radio Sila is located in the trading city of Goz Beida, surrounded by the sprawling Djabal refugee camp and numerous IDP sites. Soon after its first broadcast, Radio Sila became the only means of mass communication and socialization for humanitarian organizations delivering aid and protection to populations fleeing the conflict in neighboring Darfur or border Chadian villages.
    www.internews.org/prs/2010/20100316_chad.shtm - Cached

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