Abdel Raheem Mohamed Hussein, Sudan's defense minister, has been issued an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Associated Press reported.
Hussein is the third senior regime official sought by the court for his alleged involvement in the atrocities in Darfur, the AP reported. Among others, the ICC has also indicted President Omar al-Bashir on charges of orchestrating genocide, Reuters reported. Al-Bashir has denied the charges saying they are politically motivated, BBC News reported. He remains at large.
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Abdel Raheem Mohamed Hussein faces seven counts of crimes against humanity and six war crimes including murder, persecution, rape and torture. The charges cover 41 different incidents, the AP reported.
Hussein served as Sudan's interior minister from 2001 to 2005 and was also al-Bashir's special representative for Darfur from 2003 to 2004, Al Jazeera reported.
"The evidence allowed the office of the prosecutor to conclude that Mr Hussein is one of those who bears the greatest criminal responsibility," Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the head ICC prosecutor, said in December, according to Al Jazeera.
The mainly Arab Janjaweed militia is accused of ethnic cleansing and genocide against Darfur's black African population in 2003, BBC reported.
According to the ICC, the attacks followed a pattern, with Sudan's military surrounding a village, the air force bombing it, and soldiers and Janjaweed fighters killing, raping and looting on foot, BBC reported.
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"The plan of the counter-insurgency campaign was allegedly formulated at the highest levels of the government of the Republic of the Sudan and had allegedly as a core component an unlawful attack on that part of the civilian population perceived by the government as being close to the rebel groups," the ICC statement said, according to the BBC.
The UN estimates 300,000 Sudanese have died and 2.7 million have been displaced in the conflict, the AP reported.
Several rebel groups have since signed peace deals with the government, according to the AP. Darfur’s two main rebel factions, the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Movement, have yet to do so.