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Rights groups urge Sudan arrests

Refugees from Darfur wait near a UN tent at a refugees camp in eastern Chad, 20 November, 2007
The UN estimates Darfur's conflict has displaced some two million people

An international coalition of 29 human rights groups has called for the arrest of two Sudanese suspects indicted for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

The group asked the UN and the EU to pressurise Sudan to hand over the men to the International Criminal Court.

The call comes on the first anniversary of the ICC issuing arrest warrants for the suspects - a government minister and a Janjaweed militia leader.

Sudan says the ICC has no jurisdiction to try Sudanese suspects.

Ahmed Haroun, Sudan's Humanitarian Affairs Minister, and Ali Kushayb, a Janjaweed militia leader, face charges relating to more than 40 counts of crimes against humanity.

Darfur portfolio

Justice for Darfur, which includes groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, called on the UN Security Council to pass a resolution calling on Sudan to co-operate fully with the ICC.

SUSPECTS' PROFILES
Ahmed Haroun
- In charge of Darfur in 2003 and 2004 as deputy interior minister
- ICC says his work included recruiting, funding and arming Janjaweed militia
- Quoted as saying that he had been given the authority to either kill or forgive in Darfur for the sake of peace and security
- As humanitarian affairs minister he oversees Darfur's two million refugees
- Aid agencies accuse him of hindering efforts to access refugees
Ali Kushayb
- Known as "colonel of colonels"
- Commanded thousands of Janjaweed in mid-2003
- Allegedly promoted and witnessed rape and torture as part of the war strategy

Some 300,000 people are thought to have died in Darfur's five-year conflict, the UN says.

Mr Haroun was a minister responsible for the Darfur portfolio in 2003 and 2004.

According to the ICC he was responsible for organising and funding the Arab militia known as the Janjaweed.

Ali Kushayb is accused of ordering the murder, torture and mass rape of innocent civilians during attacks on villages near Kodoom, Bindisi Mukjar and Arawala in west Darfur.

In February 2007, the two men were named by the ICC as suspects in a total of 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity including the murder, rape, torture and persecution of civilians in Darfur.

More than two million civilians have fled their homes in Darfur, with most now staying in insecure camps supported by humanitarian agencies, who complain of frequent harassment from the Sudanese authorities.




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Profiles of the men wanted for alleged war crimes



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