News / Africa

Analysts: Warrant for Gadhafi Could Complicate His Possible Departure

Muammar Gaddafi speaks at a Tripoli hotel in this still image from Libyan TV, released May 11, 2011
Muammar Gaddafi speaks at a Tripoli hotel in this still image from Libyan TV, released May 11, 2011

Multimedia

With the International Criminal Court's arrest warrants for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, his son and a trusted ally, some analysts say avenues could close for Mr. Gadhafi, should he want to leave Libya in defeat and find a safe haven.


The streets of rebel-held Misrata erupted in jubilation when news came Monday that the International Criminal Court had issued an arrest warrant for embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Tuesday, the ICC’s top prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, called on Mr. Gadhafi’s top aides to hand him over.

“Today, it is time for arrest," Moreno-Ocampo said.

But those close to the Libyan leader reject the court’s authority. “This court is nothing but a cover for the military operations of NATO, NATO which tried and declared it would assassinate the brother leader and his family. These actions from NATO are crimes against humanity,” said Mohammed al-Gamudi, Libya's justice minister.

He went on to say that Libya might look for ways to prosecute NATO for crimes against humanity. For more than 100 days, NATO air strikes have targeted Libyan government targets.  

Libya is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court, but nations that could offer Mr. Gadhafi safe haven are.  And that complicates matters, says Brett Schaefer, a legal analyst for the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

“What we do know is that numerous governments had approached Gadhafi about an exile and there were significant rumors that he was entertaining these options until the referral itself,” Schaefer said.

The referral came from the United Nations Security Council.  That body requested that the ICC launch an investigation into Mr. Gadhafi and his aides.  But once that referral is made, the court can act independently.  In short, there’s no going back.

International pressure can be intense on countries that accept exiled leaders with arrest warrants outstanding.

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor fled to Nigeria when the Special Court for Sierre Leone, also at The Hague, issued a warrant for his arrest on war crimes charges.  And the Nigerians eventually turned him over. Mr. Gadhafi has said this example meant leaders weren’t likely to accept exile deals in the future.

Schaefer says he would like to see Libyans deal justice for Mr. Gadhafi. “In an ideal world what you would have is the rebel forces be victorious, arrest Gadhafi and his associates and then hold them accountable domestically,” Schaefer said.

Mr. Gadhafi has said many times publicly that he will stay and fight to the death in his homeland.  With an arrest warrant now marking him a wanted man, he may not have a choice.

You May Like

Sunni-Shi’ite Divide Threatens Stability of Middle East

Ancient dispute that traces back to the Islamic Revolution fueling modern day unrest More

Shifting Demographics Lie Beneath Racial Tensions in Ferguson

As Missouri suburb morphed from majority white to majority black, observer say power structure remained static More

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Restriction is toughest since Soviet era, though critics reject move as patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid