News / Africa

    ICC Could Investigate South Sudan Conflict after UN Resolution

    Staff open the doors of the morgue at the teaching hospital to add another body to the 24 already there, 20 of whom were killed from violence according to the staff, in Malakal, Upper Nile State, in South Sudan Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014
    Staff open the doors of the morgue at the teaching hospital to add another body to the 24 already there, 20 of whom were killed from violence according to the staff, in Malakal, Upper Nile State, in South Sudan Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014
    Peter Clottey
    The International Criminal Court (ICC) cannot launch an investigation into alleged human rights violations in South Sudan despite concerns that warring factions in Africa’s newest nation are committing crimes against humanity, says Fadi El-Abdallah, spokesman for the ICC.

    United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has called for the prosecution of perpetrators of human rights violations in South Sudan, and some observers are calling for the ICC to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators. 

    But, El-Abdallah says the ICC can only investigate the alleged human rights violations if the UN Security Council passes a resolution authorizing the Hague-based court to begin an inquiry into the South Sudan conflict.

    “In principle, the ICC has no jurisdiction and cannot investigate what is happening in South Sudan, unless there would be a request by the Security Council under chapter seven, which then would put an obligation on South Sudan to cooperate with the ICC and then the ICC can investigate,” said El-Abdallah.”

    Over 1,000 people are feared dead and hundreds of thousands have been displaced from their homes due to the conflict, prompting calls for an investigation. 

    But, El-Abdallah says the court will be violating South Sudan’s sovereignty if it launches an investigation into the conflict, since the country has yet to officially become a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the ICC.

    The ICC, he says, can only investigate human rights violations in countries that accept the jurisdiction of the court in instances where the Security Council does not pass a resolution authorizing an inquiry. 

    “The only way for the ICC to be able to investigate without violating the sovereignty of a state would be by a resolution from the Security Council like in the case concerning Darfur in Sudan, and Libya,” said El-Abdallah.

    But some observers contend that calls by both Ban Ki-Moon and human rights groups demanding an inquiry into the rights violations should be enough to pave way for the court to begin investigations. El-Abdallah disagreed.

    “For the time being we don’t have jurisdiction over South Sudan, and we will not have it unless South Sudan accepts our jurisdiction or if the United Nations Security Council [passes] a resolution putting an obligation on South Sudan to cooperate with the ICC,” said El-Abdallah.

    The court, he says, has called on South Sudan to ratify the Rome Statute to help protect citizens who have become victims of the conflict.

    “The ICC calls on South Sudan and all the states in the world to accept and ratify the ICC Rome Statute, to offer the ICC a universal jurisdiction and the possibility to apply the legal rules and to protect victims in all the states,” said El-Abdallah.
    Clottey interview with Fadi El-Abdallah, ICC spokesman
    Clottey interview with Fadi El-Abdallah, ICC spokesmani
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: kinut from: Ankara
    February 06, 2014 4:06 PM
    What about Syria hundreds of thousands have died and continue to die, also Iraq and lots of other places but only Africa is targeted. ICC will fail as an institution and history will record it asa partisan oorganisation targeting Africa and a neocolonial initiative.
    In Response

    by: Kiir from: Uganda
    February 07, 2014 9:51 AM
    What is happening is different from Syria war because Government saying that it was failed coup attempt. Ok if it is failed coup attempt what involved the civilian in killing in Juba who are not holding guns? ICC can investigate South Sudan human right violation.

    by: Dr.Henry Sharif from: Egypt
    February 06, 2014 2:38 PM
    But ask the United Nations to all war criminals must be bracing I hope whatever If you need help I'm working all my best to truth and judgment to Oppressors who kill innocent I love peace Motive for the oppressed This matters in which the United Nations operates

    by: angelo from: torit/ eastern equatoria
    February 06, 2014 12:39 PM
    We are talking of south sudan. The criminals that killed innocern civilian of south sudan must face the justice including Ugandan president who was fighting alongside the trible paramilitias to kill south sudan citizens

    by: Richard from: Ethiopia
    February 05, 2014 9:08 PM
    Why South Sudan? What about Egypt and Syria? Is it because South Sudan is seen as a weak state for ICC to meddle in its affairs? I believe the way the ICC picks who to investigate has led to its unpopularity in Africa. ICC must stop being seen as a political tool!

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.