Two Sudan War-Crimes Suspects Surrender

Two men suspected in a deadly 2007 attack against African Union peacekeepers in Darfur have voluntarily surrendered to the International Criminal Court to face war-crimes charges.

Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus are accused of commanding a 1,000-strong rebel force in the assault Sept. 29, 2007, on an AU base in the troubled region of western Sudan.

Prosecutors say 12 peacekeepers were killed and eight wounded, while a large amount of equipment was destroyed at the Haskanita base in northern Darfur. Sudan’s government and rebel troops have blamed each other for the attack.

The Security Council in 2005 referred the Darfur situation to the international court in The Hague. The case against Messrs. Banda and Jerbo is the court’s fourth war-crimes investigation in Sudan.

In February 2010, the court dismissed the prosecution’s case against a third suspect, Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, for lack of evidence.

The court gave no information on how Messrs. Banda and Jerbo arrived in the Netherlands, but said no arrest warrants were issued as prosecutors assured the men would appear as summoned in an August 2009 court order.

The two were staying at an undisclosed location until a hearing Thursday at which judges will read the charges against them. Each faces three counts of war crimes for the attack. They won’t be required Thursday to enter a plea.

“There are reasonable grounds to believe that Banda and Jerbo are criminally responsible” for murder, attacking a peacekeeping operation and pillaging, the court said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the court’s highest profile suspect, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, has defied an arrest warrant and refused to face charges of crimes against humanity for allegedly masterminding attacks on African tribal settlements and refugee camps in Darfur.

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