Darfur war crimes fugitive Ali Kushayb in ICC custody: court

Sudanese militia leader Ali Kushayb has been arrested on war crimes charges related to the conflict in Darfur more than 13 years after a warrant was issued for him. (File/AP)
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Updated 09 June 2020

Darfur war crimes fugitive Ali Kushayb in ICC custody: court

  • Kushayb is charged with 50 crimes against humanity and war crimes
  • He surrendered to authorities in a remote corner of northern Central African Republic

THE HAGUE: Longtime fugitive militiaman Ali Kushayb has turned himself in to the International Criminal Court, where he is facing war crimes charges for his role in Sudan’s Darfur conflict, the ICC announced Tuesday.
Kushayb, around 63, also known as Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, is wanted on 50 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed between 2002-2004 in Sudan’s western Darfur region.
“Ali Kushayb is in the custody of the ICC after surrendering himself voluntarily in the Central African Republic on account of an ICC arrest warrant issued on 27 April 2007,” the Hague-based court said in a statement.
ICC prosecutors say Kushayb was a senior commander in the notorious Janjaweed militia during the fighting, which erupted in 2003 when ethnic African rebels took up arms against Khartoum’s then Arab-dominated government, lead by the now-ousted Omar Al-Bashir.
The rebels say they suffered racial discrimination, marginalization and exclusion in one of the country’s poorest regions.
But Khartoum responded by unleashing the Janjaweed, a group of mostly Arab raiding nomads, recruited and armed to create a militia of gunmen who often mounted horses or camels.
They have been accused of applying a scorched earth policy against ethnic groups suspected of supporting the rebels, raping, killing, looting and burning villages.
Their terror campaign saw the ICC issue arrest warrants against Kushayb in 2007 and Bashir in 2009 and 2010.
About 300,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced in the conflict, the United Nations says.
Thousands of peacekeeping troops from a joint UN-African Union mission were deployed in 2007 to curb the conflict, but their numbers have been gradually reduced since mid-2018 as the conflict has subsided.
An independent tribunal, the ICC was set up in 2002 to deal with the world’s worst crimes which also includes genocide.


Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

Updated 03 August 2020

Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

  • Nassif Hitti submits resignation to the prime minister and leaves government house without making any comments
  • Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Hassan Diab’s government

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s foreign minister resigned on Monday, becoming the first Cabinet minister to defect from his post amid the severe economic and financial crisis striking the country.
Minister Nassif Hitti’s submitted his resignation to the prime minister and left the government house without making any comments.
A career diplomat, Hitti became foreign minister in January as part of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government. He was was reportedly unhappy with the government’s performance and lack of movement on promised reforms.
Local media reports said he also was angered by Diab’s criticism of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian following his visit to Beirut last month. Diab had said Le Drian “did not bring anything new” and was not properly informed about the reforms implemented by the Lebanese government.
It was not immediately clear whether his resignation would be accepted and whether one of the other ministers would assume his responsibilities in caretaker capacity until a new minister is appointed.
Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Diab’s government, which has struggled to implement reforms amid an unprecedented financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.