Alleged Darfur Warlord Makes First Appearance before ICC
Ali Mohammed Ali Abdul Rahman appeared before judges from the International Criminal Court on Monday, denying responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity during unrest in Sudan’s Darfur region over a decade ago. The 52 charges cover alleged murder, rape, persecution and plunder. He faces life in prison. The videoconference session was Rahman’s first appearance since being turned over to the court last week, having surrendered to authorities in the Central African Republic 13 years after the court issued a warrant for his arrest. Darfur was the scene of a multi-tribal uprising against the iron-fisted rule of the Islamist regime of Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted last year by senior army officers. The officers – one of whom was a superior of Rahman’s, heading the dreaded Janjaweed militia that terrorized Darfur – are now presiding over the country together with civilians until elections can be held. Bashir himself is wanted by the ICC in connection with Darfur atrocities.