Ahmed Mohammed Haroun
|Governor of South Kordofan|
|Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs|
|Minister of State for the Interior|
April 2003 – September 2005
North Kurdufan, Republic of Sudan
Ahmed Mohammed Haroun (or Ahmad Harun أحمد هارون) (born 1964) is one of three Sudanese men wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Despite international pressure on the government of Sudan to surrender him to the ICC, Haroun served as Sudan's Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs until May 2009 when he was appointed to the governorship of South Kordofan. In September 2007, he was appointed to lead an investigation into human rights violations in Darfur.
Early life and education
Career and allegations
At one time Haroun was Sudan's youngest minister of state. He also accused in participating in mobilizing and training of tribal fighters to attack civilians during the counterinsurgency in South Sudan. He also participated in the mobilization of the Murahileen militia and the conduct of military operations in Kordofan during the 1990s.
During the time Haroun served as the minister of state for interior affairs, from April 2003 to September 2005, he also managed the Darfur Security Desk, which coordinated different government bodies involved in the counterinsurgency campaign in Darfur, such as the police, the Janjaweed, the Armed Forces, and the Intelligence Service. This department also managed access of NGOs and the media to Darfur. From 2006 to 2009, he was the minister of state for humanitarian affairs.
Alleged criminal activity in Darfur
Forces under his command have been accused on targeting the towns of Kodoom, Bindisi, Mukjar, Arawala and surrounding areas during 2003 and 2004, even though these towns were apparently devoid of rebel presence and the civilian population was not taking part in hostilities. According to BBC News, Haroun ordered the militia to kill, rape, and torture civilians. Haroun has denied the accusations, and was quoted as saying the violence "never happened in the first place." Haroun was reported as having said that since the "children of the Fur had become rebels, 'all the Fur' had become 'booty' for the Janjaweed." After his speech, the Janjaweed militia, under the command of Ali Kushayb, looted the towns between Bindisi and Mukjar, and terrorized civilians.
Haroun supposedly declared in one of his meetings that as the head of security he had the authority to eliminate or pardon anyone in order to maintain peace and safety.
In August 2003, Haroun was further accused of the forcible transfer of about 20,000 civilians, primarily Fur people, from the Kodoom villages and surrounding areas. News reports also allege that Haroun and fellow Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kushayb forced the displacement of 34,000 civilians in March 2008 from their homes. Haroun was also accused of pressuring displaced persons to leave displacement camps, and in doing so placed women and children at risk of attacks and malnutrition.
The ICC warrants and their aftermath
On April 27, 2007, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Ahmad Muhammad Harun, charging him with 20 counts of crimes against humanity and 22 counts of war crimes. He is accused of recruiting, funding and arming the Janjaweed militia. The Janjaweed attacked civilians and pillaged towns and villages during counterinsurgency attacks.
From April 2003 until September 2005, Harun was Minister of State as well as head of the “Darfur Security Desk," and from 2006 to 2009, he served as the Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs. Currently, he is the governor of South Kordofan, which borders South Sudan, where a brutal counterinsurgency campaign is raging, most severely in the Nuba mountains.
Despite international calls for his arrest, Haroun continued to serve as minister of state for humanitarian affairs (which is a post below the full ministerial level). In this role, Haroun oversaw Darfur's two million internally displaced persons. Aid agencies have accused him of hindering their efforts to bring relief to the displaced.
In September 2007, the Sudanese government announced that Haroun would lead an investigation into human rights abuses in Darfur. It also appointed Haroun to be a member of its committee overseeing the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), thus influencing the deployment of peacekeepers in Darfur.
As a result of the escalating crisis in the state of Abyei in the first week of 2011, the UN decided to fly Haroun to the province. He was seen as the only suitable mediator at the time. The ICC is not a part of the UN, but the UN promised to cooperate with the ICC, and the action made by the UN - although pragmatic - proved controversial.
Governor of South Kordofan
- Darfur conflict
- International criminal law
- Cases before the International Criminal Court#Darfur, Sudan
- International Criminal Court. PDF (486 KB). 27 April 2007. Retrieved on 6 September 2007.
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- International Criminal Court Public Redacted Version of the Prosecutor’s Application under Article 58 (14 July 2008).
- "Aegis Trust welcomes Darfur indictments, urges support to ICC" 28 February 2007
- International Criminal Court. PDF (5.02 MB). 27 February 2007. Retrieved on 6 September 2007.
- Fisher, Jonah (27 February 2007). "ICC claims further isolate Sudan". BBC News. Archived from the original on 18 August 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2007.
- "Sudan Defiant on Darfur Suspect." BBC News. February 2007
- "peace and Justice Update." Joan B.Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. 15 (2007): 7 
- Reeves, Eric. "The ICCC 'Application' Concerning International Crimes in Darfur." PostNuke. 28 February 2007 
- "Prosecutor Opening Remarks." International Criminal court. 27 February 2007. 
- "Former Nuremberg and UN prosecutors push for action on Darfur's suspected war criminals." Aegis Trust. March 2008. Relief Web.
- Waging Peace Briefings on ICC indictments. Waging Peace Building a Safe and Democratic World. 2008 
- "Bashir Watch". United to End Genocide. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- Crilly, Rob (7 September 2007). "War crime suspect heads human rights inquiry". The Times (London). Retrieved 6 September 2007.
- "ICC names first war crimes suspects in Darfur". Reuters. 27 February 2007. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2007.
- "ICC issues Darfur arrest warrants". BBC News. 2 May 2007. Archived from the original on 15 September 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2007.
- Apiku, Simon (6 September 2007). "Darfur war crimes suspect leads Sudan rights probe". Reuters. Retrieved 6 September 2007.
- International Criminal Court. Public Redacted Version of the Prosecutor’s Application under Article 58 (103), 14 July 2008.
- "U.N. flew indicted war criminal to Sudan meeting". Reuters. 11 January 2011.
- "Sudan:SPLA rejects South Kordofan win for Ahmed Haroun". BBC. 16 May 2011. Archived from the original on 24 June 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
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