Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein

Senior Sudanese government official Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein has been wanted by the ICC since 2012 for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. © Reuters
Former Sudanese interior minister and a special presidential representative in Darfur, Abdel Hussein is wanted by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity during a counter-insurgency against rebel groups in Darfur in in 2003-04.
Country
Case status: 
Pre-trial
Regions: 
Africa
Former Sudanese interior minister and a special presidential representative in Darfur, Abdel Hussein is wanted by the ICC war crimes and crimes against humanity during a counter- a counter-insurgency plan of the government of Sudan and the Janjaweed militia against rebel groups in Darfur in 2003-04. An ICC warrant was issued for his arrest in 2012.

Hussein was minister of the interior and a special presidential representative in Darfur, at the time of the alleged crimes. 

Background: 

Attacks against civilians in Darfur  

The ICC prosecutor alleges that the highest levels of the Sudanese government devised a campaign against the Justice and Equality Movement, the Sudan Liberation Movement and other rebel groups in Darfur. Government forces, with assistance from the Janjaweed militia, allegedly attacked the towns of Kodom, Bindisi, and Arawala in Darfur, Sudan in 2003-04, murdering, raping, persecuting and imprisoning civilians. In particular, civilians belonging to the Fur ethnic group, but also to the Masalit and Zaghawa groups, were perceived as rebel supporters and thus allegedly targeted.

Charges: 

On 1 March 2012, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I issued an arrest warrant for Hussein for war crimes and crimes against humanity. In his roles as interior minister and special representative in Darfur, Hussein is alleged to have coordinated national, state and local security forces and recruited, funded and armed police and Janjaweed forces. 

He is charged with seven counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, torture, and deprivation of liberty. He is also charged with six counts of war crimes, including attacking a civilian population, rape and destruction of property.

Challenges: 

Chadian arrest failure illustrates need for national ICC focal points 

On 25 April 2013, the ICC prosecutor informed the ICC judges of Hussein’s intended travel to Chad from 25 to 26 April. The ICC Registry transmitted a note verbale reminding Chad, which ratified the Rome Statute in 2007, of its legal obligation to arrest and surrender Hussein if he should enter its territory and to explain the circumstances of the visit. Chad blamed communication failures between its justice and foreign affairs ministries for both its delayed response to the note verbale and its alleged lack of knowledge of Hussein’s visit. While alarmed by this lack of national coordination around an ICC request regarding an arrest, ICC judges decided that Chad had not acted intentionally.