Surrender of Sudanese militia leader Ali Kushayb into ICC custody “extremely significant”

Comment by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet

Geneva, 9 June 2020

“I welcome the news that Darfur militia leader Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman ("Ali Kushayb") is now in the custody of the International Criminal Court (ICC) after he surrendered to the authorities in the Central African Republic. This is an extremely significant development.

“For too long those responsible for the large-scale international crimes committed in the western Sudanese region of Darfur have escaped prosecution. Ali Kushayb is the first, and so far only, major figure to be arrested and handed over to the ICC, in connection with the numerous killings, rapes, pillage and other crimes that occurred when he was commander of the pro-government Janjaweed militias. It is my profound hope that the other four indicted suspects will join him before the ICC in the near future.

“Ali Kushayb’s detention serves as a warning to all those responsible for such horrendous acts of violence in Sudan, and in many other parts of the world, that one day their crimes will catch up with them. His arrest should also act as a deterrent to other military and political leaders who think they can commit such crimes with impunity.

“I would like to recall the important work done by the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, established by the Security Council in 2004 and supported by my Office. The Commission played a vital role in laying out the details of extremely serious allegations of international crimes committed in Darfur. This helped the Security Council to subsequently agree to refer the situation to the ICC. I would also like to acknowledge the key role played by the authorities in the Central African Republic in facilitating the handover of Ali Kushayb to the ICC.”