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ICC says past year busiest for the court

International Criminal Court President Sang Hyun Song heads the world's top crimes court. Photo/FILE

International Criminal Court President Sang Hyun Song heads the world’s top crimes court. Photo/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – The period between 2012 and 2013 has been recorded as the busiest for the International Criminal Court (ICC) since it was established in 2002.

The Dutch-based court noted on Tuesday that it was currently facing an increasing workload as a result of investigating more allegations than ever before.

In a report to the United Nations General Assembly, the court added that there are already eight situations under investigation and a further eight under preliminary examination.

Several other cases are at the trial stage, including one against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang and the second against President Uhuru Kenyatta which kicks off on November 12.

“The court’s ninth report details the busiest year to date for the ICC,” read a statement from the court.

To date the court has a total of 122 member states – the bulk of them being African countries. None of the world’s leading nations including Britain, China, France, India, Russia and the United States of America are party to the Rome Statute that establishes the court.

It has also received heavy criticism from the African Union over concerns that it only targets leaders from the continent but the court insists that most African cases are there on their own volition.

The ICC further called for support from all regional organisations arguing that it was crucial for the court’s success.

“It is crucial that states provide timely and full cooperation to the court in accordance with their legal obligations, and that appropriate action is taken in case of non-cooperation,” read the ICC statement.

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The court has to date opened investigations into eight situations in Africa. These are Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda.

Uganda, DRC, Central African Republic and Mali invited the ICC but the situation in Libya and Sudan’s Darfur was referred to the court by the United Nations Security Council.

According to the court, warrants issued in 2005 have not yet been effected.

Some of the personalities who have ICC arrest warrants hanging over their heads for crimes against humanity include Sudan President Omar al Bashir, Ugandan rebel Joseph Kony.

Former Kenyan journalist Walter Barasa is on the other hand wanted for witness bribery.

“Arrest warrants issued by the ICC remain outstanding – some since 2005 – for a total of 13 persons suspected of having committed genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes,” said the ICC.


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