“The defense of Mr. Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus hereby notifies the trial chamber, with great sadness… that Mr. Jerbo died in North Darfur, Sudan on the afternoon of 19 April 2013, and was buried the same day,” said an ICC document published late Tuesday.
Jerbo, along with fellow Darfur rebel leader Abdallah Banda, faced three war crimes charges for allegedly leading an attack on African Union peacekeepers in northern Darfur in September 2007, killing 12.
The two had been due to go on trial at The Hague-based ICC in May 2014.
Banda, around 50, and Jerbo, 36, appeared voluntarily before the court in June 2010 and urged other war crimes suspects to surrender to justice.
“Mr. Jerbo was killed during an attack on his location by forces of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) faction led by Gibril Ibrahim,” said the ICC document.
The ICC document adds that he was ambushed by the Gibril group and was killed with his four guards.
The War in Darfur is a guerrilla conflict centered on the Darfur region of Sudan. It began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) groups in Darfur took up arms.
They claimed the Sudanese government was oppressing non-Arab Sudanese in favor of Sudanese Arabs.
In February 2010, the Sudanese government and the JEM signed a ceasefire agreement with a tentative agreement to pursue further peace.
However, talks have been disrupted by accusations that the Sudanese army launched raids and air strikes against a village, violating the February agreement. The JEM which is the largest rebel group in Darfur, has said they will boycott further negotiations.