Bahar Idriss Abu Garda

Abu Garda's initial appearance before the ICC in May 2009 ©ICC-CPI / Phill Nijhuis
Commander of the Justice and Equality Movement rebel group, Abu Garda was charged by ICC with the war crimes attacking African Union peacekeepers in Darfur. Charges not confirmed due to a lack of evidence.
Case status: 
Bahar Idriss Abu Garda was charged with attacking African Union peacekeepers in 2007 as a commander of the Sudanese rebel group Justice and Equality Movement. Garda voluntarily appeared before the Court in 2009. ICC judges declined to confirm the charges against him due to a lack of evidence.

Attack on African Union peacekeepers 

The Abu Garda case relates to a 29 September 2007 attack on the African Union peacekeeping mission stationed at the Haskanita Military Group Site during the internal conflict between government and rebel forces. Twelve peacekeepers were killed and a further eight severely wounded in addition to destroyed communication, installations, dormitories, vehicles, and other materials. 

The attack on the MGS Haskanita was allegedly carried out by splinter forces of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebel group, under the command of Abu Garda, the chairman and general coordinator of military operations of the United Resistance Front. The ICC prosecutor alleged that Abu Garda and other commanders agreed on a common plan to attack the MSG Haskanita.


First ICC summons to appear 

In May 2009, Abu Garda became the first ICC suspect to voluntarily appear before the Court—the ICC had issued its first summons to appear in lieu of an arrest warrant. The charges included: violence to life in the form of murder, intentionally attacking peacekeeping missions and pillaging. All were war crimes. 

ICC judges decline to confirm charges 

Following a confirmation of charges hearing in October 2009, Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) I declined to confirm Garda's charges, deciding that it lacked sufficient evidence to support the prosecutor's allegations vis-à-vis Garda's involvement in a common plan to attack the Haskanita base. The prosecutor's appeal request was rejected in 2010.


Pre-Trial Chamber I authorized 87 victims to participate in the pre-trial hearings.