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Sudan refuses to hand over suspects in war crimes case

From the Associated Press

Sudan rejected demands Saturday to hand over a Cabinet minister and a militia commander indicted on charges of crimes against humanity in Darfur.

State Minister of Information Kamal Obeid was responding to a new call by the International Criminal Court prosecutor for Sudan to hand over Ahmad Harun, a Cabinet minister, and Ali Kushayb, a militia commander. Both are accused of organizing a system to recruit, fund, arm and command a militia that terrorized villages in Darfur.

Sudan’s official news agency, SUNA, quoted Obeid as saying the ICC was playing a “political role that has nothing to do with the law” and accused it of complicating peace efforts in Sudan. He said that the ICC had shown no evidence to back up its claims and that Sudan would not turn over Harun and Kushayb, SUNA reported.

An estimated 200,000 to 300,000 people have died in the conflict, many of disease and hunger, and 2.5 million have been displaced since it began in 2003. Rebel groups in the region accuse the Arab-dominated central Sudanese government of marginalization and discrimination. Sudan denies backing the so-called janjaweed militia of Sudanese Arab nomads accused of the worst atrocities in the conflict.

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Harun and Kushayb face 51 charges, including murder, rape and forced expulsions.


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