Mali becomes first African country to take in convicted war criminals
Special to USAfricaonline.com
The west African republic of Mali has become the first African country to accept the role of taking in prisoners convicted and sentenced by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The agreement was signed in Mali’s capital of Bamako by Judge Fatoumata Dembele Diarra, First Vice-President of the ICC, and Malian Foreign Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga on January 20, 2012.
Maiga noted that Mali wants to reaffirm its “unfailing commitment” to the protectionof human rights and justice. “This is a modest, symbolic contribution from Mali to assist the Court in best serving its mandate, in particular in the fight against impunity for international crimes the world over.”
The ICC, which prosecutes individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression, is currently investigating several issues and problem in the Central African Republic (CAR), Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), the Darfur region of western Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Libya and Uganda. During trials, suspects are housed at a prison in the Dutch city of The Hague.
“The enforcement of sentences is a crucial element of a well-functioning justice system, and the ICC is grateful to every State Party that expresses its willingness to accept persons convicted by the Court,” Judge Diarra said, adding that the agreement is significant because all ICC member states should share the responsibility for enforcing sentences of imprisonment.
Like Mali, the court has similar agreements with Austria, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Serbia and Colombia. ref: USAfrica wt wire/bno
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