The United States announced Monday, January 29, offering up to $5 million (€4.6 million) for the arrest of a former collaborator of the ousted president of Sudan, Omar Al-Bashir, accused of crimes of war in Darfur. The notice concerns Ahmed Haroun, one of his ex-collaborators, wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region in western Sudan, between 2003 and 2004, according to the US State Department.

“It is crucial that Mr. Haroun be found and brought before the ICC to answer the charges against him,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller was quoted as saying in a statement. . The spokesperson adds that “there is a clear and direct link between the impunity of abuses committed under the regime of Omar Al-Bashir, including those of which Mr. Haroun is accused, and the violence in Darfur today hui.”

Former minister of Omar Al-Bashir

In April 2023, shortly after the outbreak of war between the Sudanese army and the paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Mr. Haroun announced that he had escaped from Kober prison in Khartoum, with other former officials of Mr. Al-Bashir’s regime.

The conflict has left more than 13,000 dead, according to a very underestimated assessment by the NGO Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (Acled), and more than 7 million displaced, according to the UN. Unable to gain the advantage since the start of the war, both camps are stalling but neither intends to make any concessions at the negotiating table.

Mr. Haroun was a minister under the regime of Omar Al-Bashir, as well as governor of the Sudanese state of South Kordofan. Speaking by videoconference before the UN Security Council on Monday, the ICC’s chief prosecutor said he had reached “clear conclusions” that “there is reason to believe that crimes falling under the statute of Rome are currently being committed in Darfur by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces and affiliated groups”.

Karim Khan was still concerned about the risk that the conflict in Darfur would be relegated to oblivion due to the multiplication of conflicts in the world. “If this happens, it will be the second time that the people of Darfur have been wronged, that humanity as a whole has failed, and we must collectively not allow this to happen,” he said. to the Council.