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ICC sets date for trial of Darfur rebels accused of killing peacekeepers

March 6 - 2013 THE HAGUE

The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced on Wednesday that the trial of two former Darfur rebels accused of killing UNAMID peacekeepers in 2007 is set to start on 5 May 2014.

Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus are suspected of leading an attack “directed against the compound of the African Union Mission in Sudan at Haskanita on the evening of 29 September 2007” in which 12 peacekeepers were reportedly killed.

The assault involved approximately 1.000 rebel attackers, consisting of two allied forces, one allegedly led by Nourain and Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, and the other under the command of Jamus. Abu Garda, Sudan’s current health minister, has already appeared before the ICC and judges cleared him of charges saying that there was not enough evidence to proceed in his case, Radio Dabanga reported in 2011.

Nourain and Jamus, who appeared voluntarily in response to a court summons in June 2011, are not currently in custody of the Court and sources suggest they are in North Darfur.

They are suspected by the ICC of committing three war crimes: violence to life and attempted violence to life; intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission; and, pillaging, the Court says.

“The Chamber found substantial grounds to believe that the attack was directed to personnel, installations, material, units and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations which were entitled to the protection afforded to civilians and civilian objects”, the ICC was quoted in a statement.

According to a 2011 reporting by Radio Dabanga, Abdallah Banda, born in 1963 in Tina, was then a field commander of the Justice and Equality Movement faction known as ‘Collective Leadership’, which was part of the larger United Resistance Front led by Abu Garda.

Jerbo was born in 1977 in Shagag Karo area in Kutum in North Darfur. At the time of the alleged attack he was the chief-of-staff of the breakaway ‘Unity’ faction of the Sudan Liberation Army.

ICC photo file: Defense lawyer Karim Khan (left), Abdallah Banda (center) and Saleh Jerbo (right)

Related: ICC rejects request in Banda and Jerbo case (29 October 2012)


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