Meles considered possible target by ICC
Posted 6th March 2009
ICC warrant raises questions on leaders targeted
The Associated Press
By MICHELLE FAULJOHANNESBURG (AP) — The International Criminal Court’s decision to pursue a sitting head of state on war crimes charges puts others around the world on notice, but it’s also raising questions about which leaders are being targeted.
African and Arab nations say they will support Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, fearing the warrant issued against him Wednesday will bring even more conflict in Darfur, where up to 300,000 people have died since 2003, and further destabilize Sudan.
And they question why only Africans have been charged since the ICC — branded “the white man’s court” by Sudan’s information ministry — began its work six years ago. A temporary court, the tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, indicted Slobodan Milosevic in 1999 while he was still president of Yugoslavia.
The chairman of the 52-state African Union has accused the court of “double standards,” asking why no cases have emerged from conflicts in the Caucasus, Iraq or Gaza.
“The African states were the strongest supporters of establishing the ICC. It wouldn’t have been possible without them. But there has been a significant shift in the past year,” said Christopher Hall, senior legal adviser to Amnesty International.
Outside Africa, ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo is investigating possible cases in Colombia, Georgia and Afghanistan as well as a Palestinian request for charges against Israel for its actions in Gaza.
In Africa, those considered possible targets of the court are leaders in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Chad, Ivory Coast, Rwanda and Central African Republic.
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