"The small steps strategy " of the ICC in Darfur

05 March 2007 by Franck Petit

Law professor at the University of Florence in Italy and the first president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Antonio Cassese presided over the United Nation's Commission of Inquiry on Darfur. The Commission's January 25, 2005 report led to the referral of the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC). In this interview, Cassese reacts to ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo's February 27 announcement of the initial results from his Darfur investigation.

The prosecutor is asking the pre-trial chamber to subpoena Ahmad Muhammad Harun, formerly in charge of Darfur at the Sudanese Ministry of the Interior, and Ali Muhammed Ali Abd-al-Rahman alias "Ali Kushayb", former head of the janjaweed Arab militia. Do these names surprise you?

They were individuals that we were quite familiar with, that we'd even included on our list of 51 people who in our opinion should be criminally investigated and prosecuted. So I am not surprised at all. I was more surprised by the fact that the prosecutor started with mid-level individuals. Harun was only assistant Secretary of State. At the time we met him, we had a very long interview with him, of course. Since then, he became secretary of state for humanitarian affaires... it's ridiculous, because we've already gathered quite a bit of evidence indicating that he was one of the architects of the massacres committed by the janjaweed.

Is he one of the brains?

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now