4 March 2009: The International Criminal Court indict Omar al-Bashir for atrocities in Darfur

On 4 March 2009, an arrest warrant was issued for President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on five charges of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes for his role in the Genocide in Darfur.

Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir

The accusations relate to the ongoing armed murder, marginalisation and displacement of Darfur’s non-Arab population since February 2003. Attacks were carried out by Arab militia the Janjaweed, otherwise known as the Devils on Horseback. They rode into remote villages inhabited by black Africans to murder those living there, rape the women and steal whatever they could find. Refugees in Darfur have said that the government supported the raids with air attacks, yet authorities deny that there are any links between themselves and the Janjaweed.

Al-Bashir was indicted for murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape, as well as pillaging and purposefully directing attacks on civilian populations. It would not be, however, until a year later in 2010 that he would come to be accused for three counts of genocide with a second arrest warrant from the Hague.

Bashir has not yet been held accountable for the atrocities he has committed, which have led to the murder of between 200,000 and 400,000 civilians. Up to 2.6 million people have been forced from their homes into refugee camps in Darfur, with many more fleeing to neighbouring Chad.

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Genocide in Darfur

Genocide in Darfur

Darfur is a region in the west of Sudan, bordering Chad, in north-east Africa. Before the conflict Darfur had an ethnically mixed population of around six million black Africans and Arabs.

Hawa

Hawa

Hawa survived the Genocide in Darfur. In an 'untold stories' film, you can hear her talking about the persecution that forced her to leave her village, and her fears for her family.