NAIROBI, Kenya, June 18 (UPI) -- A militia leader wanted for war crimes by the ICC is suspected of playing a role in the destruction of villages in Sudan, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.
The rights organization in an early June report said witnesses to an April raid in the Um Dukhun region of Darfur put former militia leader and police commander Ali Kosheib at the scene of alleged crimes against humanity. He's wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes committed in Darfur from 2003 to 2004.
The group said Tuesday its review of satellite images of the area confirm "the wholesale destruction" of villages in the region. Human Rights Watch said villagers who fled the attack accused Kosheib of leading the assault.
"Sudanese authorities should immediately rein in pro-government forces and hold those responsible for serious abuses to account," Daniel Bekele, the organization's chief Africa researcher, said in a statement Tuesday from Nairobi. "A crucial first step would be to surrender Ali Kosheib to the International Criminal Court."
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is the subject of a separate ICC arrest warrant for alleged crimes committed in Darfur.
Human Rights Watch said the April attack left at least 42 villagers dead. More than 2,500 buildings in the area were destroyed.