October 19, 2009 / 11:48 AM / 10 years ago

TIMELINE-The International Criminal Court and Sudan


Oct 19 (Reuters) - A Sudanese Darfur rebel leader appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on Monday charged with war crimes over the killing of 12 African Union peacekeepers in 2007.

Bahr Idriss Abu Garda, the first rebel to appear before the ICC, has denied involvement in the deaths.

Here is a timeline of ICC involvement in Darfur:

Feb. 27, 2007 - ICC chief prosecutor names first two war crimes suspects in Darfur. Sudan says the ICC has no jurisdiction.

May 2, 2007 - ICC judges issue their first arrest warrants for suspects Ahmed Haroun and Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-al-Rahman, also known as Ali Kushayb. Sudan rejects arrest warrants.

July 14, 2008 - ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asks judges for an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.

July 16, 2008 - Arab League says it is concerned at moves to indict Bashir. The African Union (AU) later urges U.N. Security Council to suspend any indictment.

Nov 12, 2008 - Bashir declares a ceasefire in Darfur but rebels of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) say the announcement is not serious and vow to fight on.

Nov 20, 2008 - ICC prosecutor requests arrest warrants for three Darfur rebels including Abu Garda, head of the insurgent United Resistance Front faction. He said the rebels orchestrated an attack at the Haskanita AU camp in Sept. 2007, killing 12 peacekeepers.

Feb 17, 2009 - Sudan’s government and the JEM rebel faction agree to meet for peace talks, signing a deal that would mean concessions from both sides.

March 4, 2009 - The ICC issues an arrest warrant for Bashir in the first indictment against a sitting head of state. He was charged on seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which include murder, rape and torture.

March 5, 2009 - Bashir responds to his indictment over the conflict in the western Darfur region by ordering foreign aid agencies to leave Sudan.

— Bashir embarks on a series of foreign trips to friendly nations including Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia in further defiance of his arrest warrant.

May 8, 2009 - Sudan says it has chosen Ahmed Haroun, wanted by the ICC, as governor of South Kordofan, a sensitive north-south border province that contains key oil fields.

May 14, 2009 - Bashir says in an interview that the arrest warrant issued against him is part of a plot against Sudan and denied responsibility for large-scale killings there. "The ICC ruling is fundamentally null and void," said Bashir, saying of the ICC charges against him: "This is all lies."

May 18, 2009 - Abu Garda, charged with three war crimes alleged to have been committed during the 2007 Haskanita attack, appears before the court. He arrived in The Netherlands a day earlier.

July 16, 2009 - Uganda says Sudan’s indicted president has agreed to send a deputy to an economic meeting in Kampala after comments that Uganda may act on the international arrest warrant.

Oct 19, 2009 - Confirmation of charges hearing starts, with prosecutors due to present three witnesses before the ICC to argue there is sufficient evidence to try Abu Garda. The rebel leader has denied the charges.







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