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April 24, 2013

Sudanese War Crimes Suspect Killed in Darfur

by VOA News

Lawyers for a Sudanese man facing war crimes charges say he has been killed.

The defense team of Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus, a rebel leader in Sudan's Darfur region, says he was killed April 19 during an attack by a rival rebel faction.

Attorneys informed the International Criminal Court (ICC) of Jerbo's death in papers filed this week and made public late Tuesday.  The lawyers invited the court to verify the death.

Jerbo was former leader of the Darfur rebel group SLA-Unity, which later integrated into another rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement.

The ICC charged Jerbo and another rebel leader Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain with three counts of war crimes, stemming from an attack in September 2007 that killed 12 African Union peacekeepers.

Jerbo cooperated with the ICC and first appeared in court at the Hague in June 2010, soon after his indictment was unsealed.  

His lawyers say the attack that killed him was carried out by a Justice and Equality Movement faction led by Gibril Ibrahim.

Rebel groups in Sudan's western Darfur region launched an uprising in 2003.  Peace efforts have largely stalled and low-level fighting continues between the government and various rebel factions.

The United Nations says the fighting has killed an estimated 300,000 people.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the ICC for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against civilians in Darfur.