Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, commonly known as Ali Kushayb, is a senior Janjaweed commander supporting the Sudanese government against Darfur rebel groups, and currently is sought under an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes. He was known as aqid al oqada ("colonel of colonels") and was active in Wadi Salih, West Darfur. On February 27, 2007, Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo charged Kushayb with crimes against civilians in Darfur during 2003 and 2004, accusing him of ordering killings, rapes, and looting. An ICC arrest warrant was issued for him and Ahmed Haroun, his co-defendant, on April 27, 2007. In April 2008, he was released from Sudanese custody. According to news reports in October 2008 the Sudanese authorities re-arrested Kushayb. However, it is not known where Mr. Kushayb is being kept nor whether he will be turned over to the International Court.
Ali Kushayb's father was a member of the Ta’isha tribe while his mother was from the Dangaoni tribe from the southern part of Sudan.
Ali Kushayb was an aqid al-ogada, a colonel of colonels, for the Wadi Salih area in Darfur. He was one of the senior leaders of the tribal hierarchy in the Wadi Salih locality, and was a member of the Popular Defense Force (PDF), as well as a commander of a government backed militia in Darfur from August 2003 until March 2004. He served as a liaison between the government and the Janjaweed, while simultaneously participating in attacks against targeted groups.
The ICC charged Kushayb with 504 assassinations, 20 rapes, and the forced displacement of 41,000 people. In one of the various attacks by Ali Kushayb and the militia under his command, a survivor reported that 150 people were murdered, in which 30 children were killed, all in 90 minutes. Similarly, a woman who survived the pillaging of her village, Galania, and arrived to a refugee camp in Chad, related how one day the Janjaweed militia arrived at her town to kill civilians. Her husband was the first to be killed, and while she tried to run away she was caught by militia soldiers, and, at the command of Kushayb, was forced at knifepoint to confess she was “tora-bora,” or a rebel. After she arrived in Chad, other victims told similar stories of the horrors they underwent by the militia under the command of Kushayb: sixteen women were murdered, from which six were elderly women, children were thrown into a fire, houses were burned, countless were tortured and wounded, a dozen others were killed.
Kushayb has been accused of personally participating in attacks against civilians in the towns of Kodoom, Bindisi, Mukjar and Arawala and surrounding areas between August 2003 and March 2004. Kushayb was reported to be working for Ahmed Haroun. Eyewitnesses have reported meetings between Kushayb and Haroun. In one instance in August 2003, for example, Kushayb and Haroun supposedly met in the town of Mukluk, where Haroun provided money and arms to Kushayb for the militia. After their meeting Kushayb led the militia in an attack on the town of Bindisi. The attack lasted five days, during which more than 100 people were killed including 30 children.
In December 2003 in the town of Arawala, a witness reported Kushayb inspecting her and other women who had been tied to a tree naked to be raped repeatedly by Janjaweed militia soldiers. According to the ICC, Kushayb directly participated in the murder of 32 men in the town of Mukjar. Fifteen minutes after Kushayb and his soldiers took the men from the village, gunshots were heard and 32 dead bodies were found the next day. In another attack led by Kushayb near Mukjar, a man was arrested and told what he witnessed:
“[The] men were restrained in different ways. Some of them … had been tied and suspended in the air… His arms were held wide apart and tied to a plank of wood on the ceiling, while his legs were also held wide apart and tied to objects on either side … a stove was left burning between his legs…. All the men had whip marks on their bodies and their clothes were torn and blood-stained… He had been repeatedly beaten, called “Tora Bora” and deprived of food…. Two other men … had been badly beaten and their fingernails and toenails had been forcibly removed.”