Bahr Idriss Abu Garda was born in Nana, in the North-Darfour region of Sudan. He is a member of the Zaghawa tribe and is believed to be around 40 years old.
From January 2005 until 26 September 2007, Abu Garda held the vice-presidency of the Islamist armed group known as the Justice and Equality Movement (“JEM”), fighting against the pro-government armed groups. On 4 October 2007, he participated, together with others, in the formation of a new armed faction called JEM Collective Leadership (“JEM-CL”).
He is currently the Chairman and General Coordinator of Military Operations of the United Resistance Front.
On 29 September 2007, an attack was carried out by JEM forces in conjunction with troops belonging to other armed forces, against personnel, installations, material, units and vehicles of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS),at the military base of Haskanita, in Umm Kadada locality in North Darfur. About a thousand persons armed with anti-aircraft guns, artillery guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers allegedly attacked the military base of Haskanita, thereby killing 12 and seriously injured 8 AMIS soldiers. Moreover, it is alleged that AMIS communication installations, dormitories and vehicles were destroyed and that other AMIS material, such as refrigerators, computers, cellular phones, military boots and uniforms, 17 vehicles, fuel, ammunition and money were stolen.
Abu Garda is suspected of having been in charge of the armed groups at the time of the attack against the AMIS forces, jointly with two other military leaders.
According to the Office of the Prosecution of the International Criminal Court, this attack is the most serious attack ever launched against a peacekeeping operation in Darfur.
On 20 November,2008, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) submitted a request to the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC for the issuance of arrest warrants against 3 military leaders suspected of having been involved in the attack on Haskanita military base.