After 13 Years on the Run, a Sudanese Militia Leader Appears in Court

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Today after thirteen years on the run a Sudanese militia leader faced his day in court Ali couche made his first appearance at the international criminal court in the Hague it's a milestone for the tribunal which has come under attack from the trump administration could shape is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Darfur region of Sudan the world to limit Conde brings us the story when we test them only thinks about his childhood and are for he remembers a quiet normal life he was born in the village of governor era in the mountainous Jebel Marra region he spent most of his time at school or on the farm then in two thousand three everything changed he was sixteen years old and then when the war broke out my family and I was separated because the village was destroyed the militia and R. four was known as the Janjaweed an Arab militias supported by Sudan's government gender we'd fighters burned and systematically killed indigenous Africans and R. for an estimated three hundred thousand people or more were killed and more than two million people were displaced from their homes including Ali and his family they are now living in in a displaced persons camp in north Darfur state only hasn't been back to the R. four since he fled Sudan's capital Khartoum after being arrested for criticizing the government eventually he made his way to Washington DC it was there that he heard the news that one of the alleged leaders of the Janjaweed known as on the cost side had been arrested and was going on trial at the international criminal court I was very happy because you know I think the six or eight you know surrendered himself to ISIS he is an important step to satisfy the victims of genocide she'd made his first appearance at the ICC today as part of a preliminary trial proceedings he was asked if he understood that the more than fifty counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity never miss a movie he said he was aware of the charges that they were untrue this is only the first step of what is likely to be a lengthy trial but it comes at an important time for Sudan the country is trying to move towards democracy and beyond the legacy of former president Omar al Bashir he was ousted from power last year after widespread

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