Why is the Mali situation at the ICC?

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - 14:58

By Justice Hub

For much of its history, Mali has been unstable. Shortly after Mali achieved independence from France in 1960, the Tuaregs in the north of the country attempted their first rebellion to obtain independence and create the state of Azawad. The revolt failed, but the Tuaregs have launched several rebellions since then, the last one being in 2012. The Tuaregs teamed up with two jihadist groups: Ansar Dine and al Qaeda. 

On 21 March 2012, the Malian army overthrew the government because of its inability to deal with the Tuareg rebels. The Tuareg insurgents and Ansar Dine took advantage of the situation. They managed to gain partial control over Timbuktu and started implementing their version of sharia law in the area. The Malian government referred the situation to the ICC on 13 July 2012.

Long-form cartoon explaining the Mali situation at the ICC

The OTP concluded that there was a reasonable basis to believe the following crimes had been committed: murder, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture, intentionally directing attacks against protected objects, passing sentences and carry out executions without previous judgements pronounced by a regularly constituted court, pillaging and rape. 

According to Article 8(2)(b)(ix) of the Rome Statute, war crimes include intentional attacks against cultural properties, religious buildings and places where sick people are collected.

The first suspect in ICC custody is Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, who is believed to be a member of Ansar Dine. According to the Office of the Prosecutor, he committed, facilitated or contributed to the commission of attacks on 10 mausoleums in Timbuktu. Al Mahdi appeared at the ICC for the first time on 30 September 2015. The confirmation of charges is scheduled for 1March 2016. 

This is part of a series of long-form infocomics about the situations that the ICC is dealing with:

The long-form infocomics are made by Italian journalist and cartoonist Emanuele del Rosso. 

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Anonymous
Matheus Falasco

Sadly, one more time ICC is being used as a tool to serve the interest of a State. Politic (1) x Justice (0)

Sunday, June 11, 2017 - 22:38
Dr. Jonathan Levy
Dr. Jonathan Levy

The Mali situation came about because ECOWAS would not support the secular Azawad government when it called for help against radical Islamist factions.

Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 16:05
Anonymous