By Wasil Ali
Feb 27, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — In his first appearance since the announcement of charges against him Ahmed Haroun, state minister for humanitarian affairs said that he will not surrender himself to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
- Ahmed Mohamed Haroun
The former State Minister of Interior and responsible for the western region of Darfur, Ahmed Mohamed Haroun, told Al Jazeera Satellite TV that ICC’s chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, needs to go after U.S. president George W. Bush and former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon before prosecuting him.
Haroun, who is in his early 40s, is accused of overseeing and facilitating atrocities — ferrying arms and ammunition to the janjaweed and paying them from an "unlimited and not publicly audited" fund.
Haroun however stressed that he was speaking in his personal capacity on the matter.
Trained as a lawyer, Harun is regarded as one of the rising stars of the ruling National Congress Party. At one time he was the youngest minister of state in the government. He was selected for what were seen as difficult tasks because of his diligence and legal training. He hails from the Bargo tribe in western Sudan.
Moreno-Ocampo said that during a public meeting, Haroun boasted that his appointment to the Darfur Security Desk gave him "all the power and authority to kill or forgive whoever in Darfur, for the sake of peace and security."
Fighting in Darfur erupted in February 2003 when ethnic African tribesmen took up arms, complaining of decades of neglect and discrimination by the Khartoum government.