ICC confirms warrant for Darfur rebel Abdallah Banda

The International Criminal Court confirmed the criminal charges for former Darfur rebel commander Abdallah Banda: killing twelve peacekeepers in North Darfur in 2007, and pillaging.

The International Criminal Court's Appeal Chamber confirmed its decision on Tuesday to issue an arrest warrant for former Darfur rebel Abdallah Banda, for alleged war crimes in the region.

Abdallah Banda Abakar Nurein allegedly committed the crimes during his time as field commander of a Justice and Equality Movement splinter faction. The ICC accuses him of attacking a African Union mission base in Haskanita, North Darfur, on 29 September 2007, with a force of approximately 1,000 rebel combatants. Twelve personnel were killed and several others sustained injuries, seven of them seriously.

In September 2014, the trial court decided to issue an arrest warrant against him, along with postponing the start of the trial in November. The Appeals Chamber on Tuesday dismissed Banda's arguments that he should have been allowed to make further submissions to the trial court before it replaced a summons with an arrest warrant.

The Netherlands-based ICC counted a total of three war crimes: violence to life in the form of murder, whether committed or attempted; intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission; and pillaging.

Banda appeared voluntarily before the ICC on June 17, 2010. The case initially involved Saleh Mohamed Jerbo Jamus, but following evidence that pointed towards his death, his proceedings were terminated in 2013.

The Chamber concluded that an arrest warrant is now necessary to ensure the presence of the accused. It already requested Sudan's cooperation to facilitate Banda's presence at trial.

The ICC issued arrest warrants for President of Sudan Omar Al Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for committing genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes during the conflict in Darfur. Defence Minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein, former minister of Humanitarian Affairs and current governor of North Kordofan, Ahmed Haroun, and militia leader 'Ali Kushayb' are, too, charged with several crimes.

Related article:

ICC arrest warrant for Darfur rebel (11 September 2014)