16 January 2013

Mali: ICC Prosecutor Opens Mali War Crimes Investigation

Photo: Magharebia
Touareg rebels.

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda today formally opened an investigation into alleged crimes committed in Mali since January 2012. According to an ICC statement, a preliminary investigation opened in July 2012 has determined there is reasonable basis to believe that numerous serious crimes have been committed, including murder, cruel treatment and torture, directing attacks against protected objects, summary executions and rape.

"At each stage during the conflict, different armed groups have caused havoc and human suffering through a range of alleged acts of extreme violence," said Bensouda. "I have determined that some of these deeds of brutality and destruction may constitute war crimes as defined by the Rome Statute."

Based on the information gathered to date, the investigation will focus on crimes committed in the three northern regions of Mali.

Following the referral of the Situation in Mali by the Malian State, the office of the Prosecutor may investigate and prosecute any crime within the ICC jurisdiction committed on the territory of Mali since January 2012, the statement said.

"Justice can play its part in supporting the joint efforts of the ECOWAS, the AU and the entire international community to stop the violence and restore peace to the region," said Bensouda. "Key regional and international organizations have acknowledged the need for justice as part of the resolution of the crisis in Mali."

Copyright © 2013 Hirondelle News Agency. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.