Ahmed Haroun


Ahmed Haroun

Ahmed Mohammed Haroun (or Ahmad Harun أحمد هارون) is one of two Sudanese men wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Despite international pressure on the government of Sudan to surrender him to the ICC, Haroun continues to serve as the Sudan's Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs. In September 2007, he was appointed to lead an investigation into human rights violations in Darfur.

Background

Haroun comes from the Bargo tribe in western Sudan.cite web|url = http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article20482|title = "Darfur war crime suspect asks ICC to prosecute Bush, Sharon first"|accessdate = 2007-09-06|date = 2007-02-28|publisher = "Sudan Tribune"] He trained as a lawyer and at one time he was Sudan's youngest minister of state.He also participated in mobilizing and training of tribal fighters to attack civilians during the counterinsurgency in South Sudan, as well as the mobilization of the Murahileen and the supply of military operations in Kordofan during the 1990s. [International Criminal Court "Public Redacted Version of the Prosecutor’s Application under Article 58 (14 July 2008)."]

Alleged criminal activity in Darfur

From around April 2003 to around September 2005, Haroun served as Sudan's Minister of State for the Interior.International Criminal Court. PDFlink| [http://www.icc-cpi.int/library/cases/ICC-02-05-01-07-2-Corr_English.pdf "Warrant of arrest for Ahmad Harun"] |486 KB. 27 April 2007. Retrieved on 6 September 2007.] During this time, he coordinated the various government bodies involved in the counter-insurgency in Darfur, including the police, the armed forces, the National Security and Intelligence Service, and the Janjaweed militia. It is alleged that Haroun recruited, funded and armed the Janjaweed, and incited attacks against civilian populations.International Criminal Court. PDFlink| [http://www.icc-cpi.int/library/cases/ICC-02-05-56_English.pdf "Prosecutor's Application under Article 58(7)"] |5.02 MB. 27 February 2007. Retrieved on 6 September 2007.] cite web|url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6401607.stm|title = "ICC claims further isolate Sudan"|accessdate = 2007-09-06|last = Fisher|first = Jonah|date = 2007-02-27|publisher = "BBC News"]

The ICC warrants and their aftermath

On 27 April 2007, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Haroun and Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kushayb. The court found reasonable grounds to believe that Haroun was individually criminally responsible on 20 counts of crimes against humanity and 22 counts of war crimes, including murder, persecution, forcible transfer of population, rape, inhumane acts, imprisonment or severe deprivation of liberty, torture, attacks against the civilian population, destruction of property, pillaging, and outrage upon personal dignity.International Criminal Court. " [http://www.icc-cpi.int/press/pressreleases/241.html Warrants of Arrest for the Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs of Sudan, and a leader of the Militia/Janjaweed] ". 2 May 2007. Retrieved on 6 September 2007.] Several of his crimes involved carrying out attacks on the towns of Kodoom, Bindisi, Mukjar, Arawala and surrounding areas over an extensive period of time running at least between 2003 and 2004, while these towns were devoid of any rebel activities and while the civilian population was not taking any active part in the hostilities. [International Criminal Court. "Warrant of Arrest For Ahmad Harun (3) (27 April 2007)."] He was a direct participant in the forcible transfer of about 20,000 civilians, primarily Fur people, from the Kodoom villages and surrounding areas, from August 15, 2003 to August 30, 2003. [International Criminal Court. "Warrant of Arrest For Ahmad Harun (7) (27 April 2007)."] He was also directly involved in the murder of over 100 civilians primarily from the Fur population of Bindisi town and surrounding areas. [International Criminal Court. "Warrant of Arrest For Ahmad Harun (8) (27 April 2007)."]

However, the Sudanese government has refused to surrender Haroun to the ICC,cite web|url = http://africa.reuters.com/top/news/usnBAN628417.html|title = "Darfur war crimes suspect leads Sudan rights probe"|accessdate = 2007-09-06|last = Apiku|first = Simon|date = 2007-09-06|publisher = "Reuters"] saying he had no links with the Janjaweed.cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6399311.stm|title="Court names Darfur war suspects"|publisher="BBC News"|date=2007-02-27|accessdate = 2007-09-06] Sudan, which is not a party to the ICC, argues that the court has no jurisdiction over the case and that it is a matter for the Sudanese judicial system.

Despite international calls for his arrest,cite web|url = http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article2402846.ece|title = "War crime suspect heads human rights inquiry"|accessdate = 2007-09-06|last = Crilly|first = Rob|publisher = "The Times"|date = 2007-09-07] Haroun continues to serve as Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs (which is a post below the full ministerial level).cite web|url = http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article20469|title = "ICC names first war crimes suspects in Darfur"|accessdate = 2007-09-06|publisher = "Reuters"|date = 2007-02-27] In this role, Haroun oversees Darfur's two million internally displaced persons;cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6614903.stm|title="ICC issues Darfur arrest warrants"|publisher="BBC News"|date=2007-05-02|accessdate = 2007-09-06] aid agencies have accused him of hindering their efforts to bring relief to the displaced.

In September 2007, the Sudanese government announced that Haroun would lead an investigation into human rights abuses in Darfur.The Sudanese government has also appointed Haroun to be a member of its committee overseeing the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), thus influencing the deployment of peacekeepers in Darfur. [International Criminal Court. "Public Redacted Version of the Prosecutor’s Application under Article 58 (103) (14 July 2008)."]

ee also

*Darfur conflict
*International criminal law
*Cases before the International Criminal Court#Darfur, Sudan

References


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