Sudan appoints war crimes indictee

KHARTOUM: Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir has removed Ahmed Harun -- who is wanted for war crimes in Darfur -- from his position as state minister, appointing him governor of disputed south Kordofan province.

Beshir, who himself is wanted for war crimes in Darfur, issued a decree late Thursday appointing Harun governor of south Kordofan, where the political and administrative status of Abyei remains one of the most contentious outstanding issues in the implementation of a north-south peace deal in Sudan.

Harun had been holding the position of minister of state for humanitarian affairs despite an arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court in 2007, accusing him and militia leader Ali Kosheib of war crimes in Darfur.

The western Sudanese region of Darfur has been ravaged by a war between the government and rebels since 2003 that the United Nations estimates has left 300,000 people dead and 2.7 million homeless.