Khartoum linked to Darfur crimes

International court links Sudan's government to militia abuse against populace.

    Hundreds of thousands of people have died and millions forced from their homes in Darfur [EPA]

    The atrocities include killing, torture and the rape of civilians including girls as young as five or six with their parents forced to watch, says the report obtained on Tuesday by The Associated Press.

     

    It also says senior Sudanese officials are linked to the burning and looting of homes, bombing of schools and destroying of mosques.

     

    Human rights groups and others have long accused Sudan's government of arming the janjawid Arab militias that have allegedly attacked Darfur villages, a charge Sudanese leaders deny.

     

    The report does not identify any officials or present evidence of specific

    crimes.

     

    Moreno-Ocampo would name names and present evidence next month at a pre-trial hearing by three of the court's judges in The Hague, Netherlands, said court spokeswoman Florence Olara.

     

    Prosecutors have been investigating the alleged abuses for some time from a field office in neighbouring Chad, which borders Darfur.

     

    Moreno-Ocampo has said in a past report that investigators collected evidence from more than 100 witnesses in 18 countries.

     

    Deadly campaign

     

    The conflict in Darfur began in early 2003 when rebels took up arms against the government, charging the government in Khartoum with discrimination.

     

    Hundreds of thousands of people have died and millions more have been forced from their homes.

     

    The use of janjawid militias to commit crimes, and then characterising

    them as "autonomous bandits or self-defence militia" is "part of the

    cover-up", Moreno-Ocampo's report says.

     

    These is evidence of a criminal plan based on the mobilisation of the

    whole state apparatus, including the armed forces, the intelligence services, the diplomatic and public information bureaucracies, and the justice system, it says.

     

    The report repeats his call, first made in December, for the security

    council to demand that Sudan's government hand over two Sudanese men who have been indicted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity.

     

    They include Ahmed Harun, Sudan's humanitarian affairs minister, who is

    accused of organising a system to recruit, fund and arm janjawid militias to support the Sudanese military.

     

    The other is Ali Kushayb, known as a "colonel of colonels" among the janjawid.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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