- Musa Hilal in this undated photo is disembarking a government helicopter
Born in 1961, married to three women with 13 kids and leader of Arab Mahameed clan in Darfur.
His father has relocated the tribe to the Amu region in 1976 after he acquired the land (originally owned by Africans) through forgery and bribing a local official.
Hilal was arrested in 1997 for killing 17 people from African tribes but was not convicted.
He was convicted in 1998 for leading armed robbery against the Central Bank of Nyala in which one policeman was killed.
Hilal was transferred to Kober prison under tight security then to Medani prison then to the coastal Sawakin prison in Eastern Sudan and back again to Kober.
In 2003 and with the breakout of the Darfur conflict the Sudanese government freed Hilal from prison to help crush the armed rebellion. It is believed that Sudan’s First Vice President Ali Osman Taha and Chief of the Air Force Abdullah Safi Al-Nur secured his release.
Some reports indicated that Mubarak Al-Fadil, leader of the opposition Umma reform party, accompanied the notorious Jinjaweed leader Musa Hilal in 2004 to meet with the US Charge d’affaires in Khartoum. During the meeting, thought to have been videotaped, Hilal provided detailed information on Khartoum’s support of the Jinjaweed militias in Darfur.
In 2004 the US State Department designated Musa Hilal as one of the top Jinjaweed leaders running a terror campaign in Darfur against the African population.
Numerous eyewitnesses from Darfur refugees named Hilal as calling for killing the African natives in the region.
In 2005 Musa Hilal told HRW that he recruited people from Arab tribes on behalf of Sudan’s Central government to fight the Darfur rebels but denied any wrongdoings.
On April 2006 the UN Security Council imposed financial and travel ban against Hilal for obstructing peace in Darfur. The US president George Bush issued an executive order enforcing similar sanctions on them.
In 2006 Hilal threatened to fight anyone trying to hand him over to an international court.
On February 2007 Hilal was named in the filings made by the ICC prosecutor as making a speech in July 2003, which was characterized as “racist”. However he was not named as a war crime suspect. “Hilal was enthusiastic about unifying to fight the enemy and characterized the conflict as a holy war” the ICC prosecutor said in the document he submitted to the judges.
On 18 January 2008, the Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir appointed Musa Hilal as a special advisor for the Ministry of Federal Affairs in Sudan.