Sudan's Darfur Crimes in the Spotlight at Hague Court

Rights group Human Rights Watch says the International Criminal Court's first major hearings in the case of Ali Kosheib are an important step toward justice for grave crimes committed in Darfur. It said the absence of four other top suspects, including former president Omar al-Bashir, spotlights the need for Sudanese authorities to transfer them to the ICC without further delay.

Ali Kosheib (also spelled Kushayb), the nom de guerre of Ali Mohammed Ali, was a leader of the "Janjaweed" militia who also held command positions in Sudan's auxiliary Popular Defense Forces and Central Reserve Police. On April 27, 2007, the ICC issued the first arrest warrant for Kosheib, which charged him with 50 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes for his alleged links with rapes, the destruction of property, inhumane acts, and attacks and killing of civilians in four villages in west Darfur in 2003 and 2004.

International Criminal Court, The Hague

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