Africa in the dock at the ICC

January 21, 2012 7:33 am

, THE HAGUE, Jan 21 – All of the International Criminal Court’s cases since the tribunal was set up in The Hague in 2002 are over crimes committed in Africa:

The ICC will rule Monday whether up to six top Kenyans should face trial for their roles in deadly post-poll unrest in 2007-08 in which at least 1,100 died. They include Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, both of them leading candidates for the upcoming presidential election. The ICC was given the court’s permission in March 2010 to investigate the six.

Ivory Coast ex-president Laurent Gbagbo on November 30, 2011 became the first former head of state to be transferred to the ICC. He faces four counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and inhuman acts, over post-election violence from December 2010 to April 2011, which the UN said cost about 3,000 lives. Gbagbo had refused to concede defeat in November polls.

Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, the son of Libya’s slain despot Moamer Kadhafi, has since June 27, 2011 been subject to an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity committed during the rebellion which took place from February 15-October 23 and eventually toppled the regime of his father, who was then killed.
Seif al-Islam was arrested on November 19 and the ICC has given Libya extra time to mull whether he should be handed over.
On November 22 the ICC announced it was formally dropping the case against his father after seeing his death certificate.

Six people, including Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, face an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the western region of Darfur.
A civil war that broke out in 2003 has claimed some 300,000 lives according to UN figures, while Khartoum puts the figure at 10,000. In 2010, the ICC added a genocide charge against Bashir. Two arrest warrants have also been issued against a former minister and a militia leader.

The ICC reached a milestone with the end of its first trial in August, 2011, against former militia chief Thomas Lubanga, accused of war crimes for enrolling child soldiers in 2002-03. He is awaiting a verdict.
Congolese militia leaders Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes, have been before the court for an attack on a village in 2003.
Senior Rwandan rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana, suspected of crimes against humanity and war crimes in the Kivu provinces in the eastern DRC, was released on parole in France in December, 2011 after the ICC dropped charges against him.

Former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba has been in detention in The Hague since 2008, suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by his Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC) rebels in the neighbouring Central African Republic between October 2002 and March 2003. Bemba’s troops supported CAR President Ange-Felix Patasse against a rebellion led by Francois Bozize, now the country’s president.

The ICC in 2005 issued arrest warrants against Joseph Kony and other top commanders of the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) for crimes against humanity and war crimes including the enlisting of child soldiers and sexual slavery, committed between 2002 and 2004.


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