The United States welcomes the opening of trial proceedings at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague in the case against Ali Mohammed Ali Abd-al Rahman, a former Janjaweed commander also known as Ali Kushayb. This marks the beginning of the first trial against any senior leader for crimes committed by the Omar al-Bashir regime and government-supported forces following the genocide and other atrocities in Darfur.
In 2004, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell determined, based in part on evidence collected by the State Department, that a genocide was taking place. Since that day, the United States has steadfastly called for those responsible for genocide and other atrocities to be held accountable.
The ICC has charged Abd-al Rahman with thirty-one counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the killing of civilians, rape, torture, and other cruel treatment in Darfur. For 13 years after a warrant was issued for his arrest, Abd-al Rahman evaded capture. Due to the commendable efforts of the authorities of the Central African Republic, Chad, France, and the leaders of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), Abd-al Rahman was arrested in the Central African Republic and transferred to the ICC in 2020. We urge Sudan to continue to cooperate with the ICC when it comes to the provision of evidence and to hand over other individuals who are subject to arrest warrants so that they can stand trial.
The United States is committed to the principle that those who commit atrocities must be held accountable. We are at a moment when we are again witnessing increased violence in Darfur and the Two Areas. This trial is a signal to those responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Darfur that impunity will not last in the face of the determination for justice to prevail.