NPWJ supports arrest warrant request for current Sudanese Defense Minister Hussein and urges international community to extend full cooperation to the ICC

2 Dec, 2011 | Press Releases

Today, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), requested Pre-Trial Chamber I to issue an arrest warrant for the current Sudanese Defense Minister, Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein. The warrant is based on evidence that Mr Hussein played a central role in the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur from August 2003 to March 2004, including the recruitment, funding and training of Janjaweed (militia) troops. Moreover, Mr Hussein allegedly bears the greatest criminal responsibility for the very same crimes for which the ICC, on 27 April 2007, authorized the arrests of Ahmed Harun and Ali Kushayb. If issued, Mr Hussein will be the fourth individual subject to an ICC arrest warrant for crimes committed in Darfur. To date, none of the previous three individuals (including Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir) have been taken into ICC custody.

Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) support the Prosecutor’s request to publicly seek an arrest warrant against Mr Hussein. This represents one further step toward achieving justice for the victims of Darfur, and away from the impunity that would otherwise prevail. The Court’s request for Mr Hussein’s arrest reveals the ICC’s commitment to holding accountable all perpetrators of serious crimes under international law.

“However, it is with great regret and a profound sense of urgency that NPWJ and NRPTT remind the international community that the three individuals already subject to ICC arrest warrants have not been taken into ICC custody. Indeed, al-Bashir, Haruna and Kushayb – all wanted by the ICC – remain free, both to continue committing crimes under international law as well as to deny their countless victims the justice and closure that they deserve. The warrants for arrest issued by the ICC represent a call to members of the international community to take action – a call that, unfortunately, has not been heeded. Justice depends upon the arrests of these individuals – and the collaboration of individual State actors toward this end. NPWJ and NRPTT therefore urge every member of the international community to cooperate fully with the ICC in ensuring the swift and complete execution of these arrest warrants.

“NPWJ and NRPTT also urge the Court to consider instituting a field presence in the Republic of South Sudan as soon as possible. As the ICC continues to make notable progress in calling to justice those responsible for crimes under international law, it must not forget the victims of these crimes. The recent establishment of an independent South Sudan is a remarkable achievement, but major challenges lie ahead. There is currently a compelling need for the Court to engage with victims and affected communities in two-way dialogue, to promote understanding of the Court and manage expectations, with a particular focus on women and children. Field presence remains the only viable means of engaging directly with victims, in order to understand and meet their needs and expectations for justice.”

For further information, please contact Alison Smith on or +32-(0)2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-(0)2-548-3915.