ICC facts and charges

11th October 2013, Comments 0 comments

The International Criminal Court (ICC), which is under attack from the African Union, has a mandate to try individuals for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The AU charges that the court is biased because all of the people it has indicted to date come from Africa.

Here are key facts on the court and its indictments.


The ICC was created through the adoption of its founding Rome Statute in July 1998, and started operating in The Hague in July 2002.

To date, 122 countries have signed up, including 34 from Africa.

The United States is one of the few Western countries that has not joined, neither have Russia or China.

The court's president is the South Korean Sang-Hyun Song and its chief prosecutor is Fatou Bensouda from Gambia.


The ICC's jurisdiction is complementary to that of national courts, and it can only act when a member state is unwilling or unable to do so.


A state party may refer crimes within the court's jurisdiction to the prosecutor for investigation, as in the case of Congolese rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba, referred by the Central African Republic in 2004.

Cases may also be referred by the United Nations Security Council or the prosecutor can initiate her own investigations with permission from the judges, such as in the case of Kenya's 2007-2008 post-vote violence.

A country that has not accepted the Rome Statute may accept the court's jurisdiction on a case-by-case basis.



The Democratic Republic of Congo's former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba, whose rebel army is accused of atrocities in the Central African Republic, has been detained by the ICC and charged with three war crimes counts and two of crimes against humanity for murder, rape and pillaging.


The ICC sentenced Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga in 2012 to 14 years in prison for using children in his rebel army in 2002-2003, the court's first verdict ever.

Congolese militia leaders Germain Katanga and Bosco Ntaganda are also on trial.


Former president Laurent Gbagbo, in custody, faces four counts of crimes against humanity over months of deadly fighting after he refused to accept defeat in a November 2010 presidential election.


Three Kenyans, including President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto, face trial for their alleged roles in the post-election violence that gripped the country in 2007-2008.


Moamer Kadhafi's son Seif al-Islam is wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the repression of the popular uprising which led to the fall of his father's regime.

He is currently in custody in Libya.


The ICC has opened a war crimes probe into fighting in Mali between northern Islamist insurgents and the Malian army, backed by French forces.


Warlord Sylvestre Mudacumura, military commander of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), is wanted by the court on accusations of murder, rape and using child soldiers.


Four Sudanese -- including President Omar al-Bashir, who is accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide -- are on the ICC's wanted list as part of a probe into the conflict in the western region of Darfur.


The ICC issued arrest warrants for Joseph Kony and other commanders of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in 2005 for crimes against humanity and war crimes, including the use of child soldiers and sex slavery.

© 2013 AFP

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