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The Prosecutor vs Ahmad Muhammad Harun

Following the particularly critical situation in Darfur, the then UN’s General Secretary Mr. Kofi Annan set up an international committee to investigate the alleged breaches of humanitarian law in the country. In its final report issued on January 2005, the body concluded that crimes against humanity and crimes of war had been committed and recommended that the case be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Exercising its power under the Rome Statute, the UN Security Council seized the ICC by way of Resolution 1593 of March 31st, 2005. The judicial opened an investigation into the alleged facts starting July 01st, 2002. In its final report, the ICC notably concluded that there were grounds for believing that Mr. Ahmad Muhammad Harun, a citizen of Sudanese nationality, had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

According to the report submitted, he would have played an important role in the conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and janjaweed / militiamen and organized armed rebel movements (notably the Sudan Liberation Movement / Army and the Movement for the Justice and Equality). Indeed, there would be reasons to believe that between August 2003 and March 2004, the SAF assisted by Janjaweed carried out attacks, looting, rapes and murders in the localities of Kodoom, Bindisi, Mukjar and Arawala against the civilian populations belonging to mainly to the Four, Zaghawa and Massalit tribes.

These acts were allegedly carried out in a systematic and generalized manner within the framework of the anti-insurgency policy defined by the Sudanese Government and could constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes within the meaning of articles 7-1 and 8-2 of the Rome Statute.

The ICC Chamber considers that as Minister of State in charge of the Interior and director of the “Darfur Security Office” during the relevant period, Mr. Ahmad Muhammad Harun could not at least have ignored the acts committed and the methods used by government factions and its allies. The ICC further claims that Mr. Harun participated in the creation and coordination of this policy at the national level and that his public speaking tended to support these actions. Accordingly, the Court considers that Mr. Harun’s criminal liability may be incurred in accordance with Articles 25-3-b and 25-3-d of the Rome Statute for:

  • Twenty counts of crimes against humanity: murder (article 7(1)(a)); persecution (article 7(1)(h)); forcible transfer of population (article 7(1)(d)); rape (article 7(1)(g)); inhumane acts (article 7(1)(k)); imprisonment or severe deprivation of liberty (article 7(1)(e)); and torture (article 7(1)(f)); and
  • Twenty-two counts of war crimes: murder (article 8(2)(c)(i)); attacks against the civilian population (article 8(2)(e)(i)); destruction of property (article 8(2)(e)(xii)); rape (article 8(2)(e)(vi)); pillaging (article 8(2)(e)(v)); and outrage upon personal dignity (article 8(2)(c)(ii)).

An arrest warrant was issued by the ICC on April 27th, 2007 and has remained without effect to this day.

Warrant of arrest 27-04-2007.pdf

Pending his arrest or surrender, the case remains at the preliminary level as the ICC does not try individuals in their absence.

This summary of the facts of this case and the proceedings is only proposed for informational purposes, does not engage Dome in any way and cannot replace the careful reading of the judgments and orders of the case.