ICC Trial Chamber IV issues arrest warrant against Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain
On 11 September 2014, Trial Chamber IV of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued, by majority, an arrest warrant against Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain. Three charges of war crimes allegedly committed in Darfur (Sudan) were confirmed against him on 7 March 2011. The Chamber vacated the trial date previously scheduled to open on 18 November 2014 and directed the ICC Registry to transmit the new requests for arrest and surrender to any State, including the Sudan, on whose territory Mr. Banda may be found.
Trial Chamber IV had requested the Government of Sudan’s cooperation to facilitate the accused’s presence at trial. This cooperation, according to the information provided by the Registry, is not forthcoming. By way of consequence, the Chamber considered that there are no guarantees that, in the current circumstances, he will be in an objective position to appear voluntarily, regardless of whether he wishes to be present at trial or not. The Chamber concluded that an arrest warrant is now necessary to ensure the accused’s presence. The Chamber stressed that should Mr. Banda nonetheless appear voluntarily before the Court, the Chamber will take the voluntary appearance into consideration and revisit accordingly the conditions of his stay in The Netherlands during the trial.
The Chamber will determine in due course the appropriate course of action in order to ensure Sudan’s compliance with the request of the Court. The situation in Darfur was referred to the ICC by United Nations Security Council resolution 1593 on 31 March 2005, under article 13(b) of the Rome Statute.
Background: Abdallah Banda was summoned, on 27 August 2009, to appear before the Court. He appeared on 17 June 2010. He faces three charges of war crimes (violence to life in the form of murder, whether committed or attempted; intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission; and pillaging). These crimes were allegedly committed in an attack carried out on 29 September 2007, against African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Sudan, at the Haskanita Military Group Site, in the Umm Kadada locality of North Darfur, Sudan.