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ICC drops charges against a Darfurian rebel
afrol News, 9 February - The International Criminal Court (ICC) has dropped charges against the first Darfurian war crimes suspect, Bahar Idriss Abu Garda.
The ICC judges ruled that there was not enough evidence to support the trial of Mr Abu Garda who had been accused of planning the killing of 12 African Union peacekeepers in 2007.
Mr Abu Garda was a senior member of the Justice and Equality Movement (Jem) - the main rebel group fighting militias, that many suspect are backed by government.
He left Jem in 2008 and formed his own group, the United Resistance Front.
Mr Abu Garda has always denied being part of the attack on the peacekeepers.
Meanwhile, the African Union has asked Sudan to set up a hybrid court to help find justice over the Darfur crisis.
The former South African president Thabo Mbeki said the court should have both Sudanese and AU-appointed judges who will work tirelessly to resolve the long dragging Darfur crisis.
“It will inspire confidence among the people of Darfur that justice will be done,” Mr Mbeki told journalists.
Mr Mbeki’s team, a member of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel on Darfur, is mandated to help bring peace to Sudan, which has been at war with itself since rebels took up arms against the government in 2003.
The conflict has left hundreds of thousands dead and more than two million others displaced from their homes in Darfur.
The International Criminal Court has since issued an arrest warrant for the country’s leader, President Omar al-Bashir, for war crimes in Darfur.
Mr Mbeki was accompanied by former Burundi President Pierre Buyoya, deputy African Union representative to Somalia Wafula Wamunyinyi and the South African ambassador to Kenya.
He said his team had met the ICC chief prosecutor, Mr Luis Moreno-Ocampo, over the indictment of Mr Omar Al Bashir, and the prosecutor had said “the matter was in the hands of judges in The Hague”.
Sudanese president is wanted for crimes against humanity by the court. It is also planning to add another charge of genocide to his charges over crimes committed in Darfur region since 2003.
The UN estimates that 300,000 people have died in Darfur since the conflict began in 2003. More than 2.7 million have been displaced.
By staff writer
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