WORLD APRIL 28, 2012
When Liberian dictator Charles Taylor was convicted by the International Criminal Court this week of committing, aiding, and abetting crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone’s civil war, it was widely regarded as an overdue act of justice. But it was also an opportunity to reflect on the many other alleged war criminals still awaiting their day in court. From Saif Qaddafi to Joseph Kony, here’s the complete list of the many defendants who are still wanted by the ICC.
The fourth president of the Côte d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo is currently on trial on four counts of crimes against humanity that he allegedly committed after refusing to recognize the results of a 2010 presidential election, and deploying the use of force against those who subsequently challenged him.
Muammar Gaddafi's eldest son, Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi, is in a mountain-top detention center in Libya waiting to be handed over to the ICC. The Court has charged him with being an indirect perpetrator on two counts of crimes against humanity for his role in the 2011 Libyan war. However, it’s not yet entirely clear whether he will be tried by the ICC, or rather, by a national court in Libya, as he is said to prefer.
Last year, the ICC issued a warrant for the arrest of Abdullah Al-Senussi, a colonel of the Libyan army, for crimes against humanity. Considered Muammar Qaddafi’s right hand man, he was arrested at an airport in Mauritania in March.
Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain is awaiting trial for his role in the Darfur conflict, in which he allegedly attacked African Union peace keepers. He is charged with three counts of war crimes.
Saleh Jerbo is awaiting trial for three war crimes related to raids on peacekeepers during the conflict in Darfur.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Germain Kantanga, more commonly known as Simba, is the former leader of the Patriotic Resistance Force—a political party and militia force based in the northeast part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and active in that country’s ongoing civil war. In 2007 he was surrendered to the ICC and put on trial for six counts of war crimes and three crimes against humanity. Among the charges: sexual slavery and using children to engage in war and hostile activities.
Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui a former senior commander of the National Integrationist Front and the Patriotic Resistance Force was similarly charged with murder, sexual slavery and using children to engage in violent hostilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s civil war.
Central African Republic
Jean-Pierre Bemba is accused of leading his militia group, the Movement for Liberation of Congo, into the neighboring country of the Central African Republic, and allegedly murdering and raping civilians. His trial began in November 2010 where he faces two counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of war crimes.
William Ruto, a former minister in the Kenyan government and candidate in the upcoming presidential election, was indicted by the ICC in January for crimes against humanity in the ethnic violence that ensued following the disputed 2007 Kenyan elections.
Head of operations at Kass FM, a radio station in Nairobi, Joshua Arap Sang is currently being tried by the ICC. He is charged with crimes against humanity perpetrated in the aftermath of the Kenyan post-election crisis.
Uhuhu Muigai Kenyatta, former Deputy Prime Minister, was indicted for crimes against humanity in January, 2012 for his role in the 2007 crisis.
Francis Kimmi Muthaura, former Head of the Kenyan Public Service, is charged as an indirect co-perpetrator of crimes against humanity in the post-election crisis of 2007.
Perhaps the most famous member of this list, Joseph Kony is currently wanted by the ICC for the atrocities he committed as leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a militia that once operated in Uganda. The charges include twelve counts of crimes against humanity including murder and sexual-enslavement, and twenty-one counts of war crimes, including the use of child soldiers.
Joseph Kony’s right-hand man in the LRA, Vincent Otti is being sought by the ICC for eleven counts of crimes against humanity and twenty-one counts of war crimes.
The ICC charged Okot Odhiambo, the deputy army commander of the LRA, with two counts of crimes against humanity and eight counts of war crimes. Odhiambo allegedly tried to defect from the LRA and negotiate a return to Uganda in 2009. He is still reportedly at large and wanted by the ICC.
Dominic Ongwen was charged with three counts of crimes against humanity and four counts of war crimes for his involvement as a brigade commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army. In 2005, he was incorrectly reported dead.
Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir is the current president of Sudan. In 2008, the chief prosecutor of the ICC called for an arrest warrant to be issued against Bashir, citing crimes committed against humanity, war crimes, and genocide in Darfur. But the Sudanese government, which was not part of the treaty that created the ICC, refused to hand Bashir over. Then in 2009, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Bashir—the first time that a warrant was issued for a sitting head of state—and charged him with war crimes and crimes against humanity, though not with genocide. A second arrest warrant charging him with genocide was issued in 2010.
Ahmad Harun, a former Sudanese minister, is currently wanted by the ICC for twenty counts of crimes against humanity and twenty-two counts of war crimes in relation to the conflict in Darfur.
Ali Kushayb, former leader of the Janjaweed militia in Sudan, is sought by the ICC for twenty-two counts of crimes against humanity and twenty eight counts of war crimes in Darfur. A witness of the crimes describes Kushayb’s forces torturing villagers by methods such as pulling out their fingernails.
The current Minister of National Defense for Sudan, Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein, is accused of seven crimes against humanity and six war crimes. On March 12, 2012 the ICC issued a warrant for his arrest.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Bosco Ntaganda is the alleged former Deputy Chief of Staff for FPLC, an armed militia group operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is sought by the ICC for the recruitment and deployment of child soldiers in that country’s civil war.