photo by jon nicholson

news - Sudan Rebel Accused of Peacekeeper Deaths at Hague

october 19th, 2009

"International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors said on Monday Sudanese Darfur rebel leader Bahr Idriss Abu Garda deliberately ordered the killing of 12 African Union peacekeepers, leaving civilians unprotected.

Abu Garda, 46, is the first Darfur rebel to appear before the ICC. He appeared voluntarily for a hearing to determine whether he should face trial on three war crimes charges over the attack on an AU peacekeeping base in September 2007.

Two other rebels have also been accused of involvement in the attack. Abu Garda, chairman of the United Resistance Front, has denied the charges. He is not yet in custody.

Deputy prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the peacekeepers were sent to protect civilians from killings and rapes, to monitor peace and deliver aid, but were murdered by combined rebel forces under Abu Garda's control, in part for their equipment.

'They murdered peacekeepers, who were not killed accidentally. Nor were they killed in crossfire. Most of them were shot at close range. They were executed,' Bensouda told the three-judge chamber."

MORE: "Sudan rebel accused of peacekeeper deaths at Hague" (Reuters)

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