Over the Easter weekend, Malian authorities handed over Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud, a Malian man who is wanted for war crimes to the ICC. He has been taken into custody.

It is alleged that Al Hassan was head of the Islamic police in Tumbuktu during 2012/13, when Timbuktu was under the control of jihadist militants. According to the arrest warrant, also issued in March 2018, Al Hassan is alleged “to have taken part in the destruction of the mausoleums […] in Timbuktu […] and to have participated in the policy of forced marriages which victimized the female inhabitants of Timbuktu and led to repeated rapes and the sexual enslavement of women and girls.

His arrest follows the ICC conviction of Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi in 2016, who pleaded guilty to destroying cultural sites in Timbuktu, which was the first case of cultural desecration tried by the ICC.