UNSC weekend resolution on Libya incorporates ICC exclusion provision
[TamilNet, Monday, 28 February 2011, 00:50 GMT]
Under US's insistence, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), during its weekend sessions lasting into late nights on drafting a resolution on Libya, had to include a provision that "exempts personnel from states not members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) from prosecution," Innercity Press (ICP) reported. The provision was a "red line" for the US, and was deal breaker, a French Representative told the ICP, adding, the provision had to be included to have the "unanimity of the Council."
The text of the sixth added paragraph of the resolution read:
6. Decides that nationals, current or former officials or personnel from a State outside the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for all alleged acts or omissions arising out of or related to operations in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya established or authorized by the Council, unless such exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State.
While a Bush administration Ambassador to the UN in 2002 threatened to veto a UN resolution on Bosnia if it did not contain a similar exclusion, the Obama administration has maintained this insistence on impunity, which in this case applies to mercenaries from Algeria, Tunisia and Ethiopia, among other mercenary countries, ICP noted.
A Western spokesperson added, when asked by Inner City Press, that a perambular paragraph of the new draft explicitly mentions Article 16 of the Rome Statute of the ICC, stating that the prosecution could be suspended for 12 months.
It's the same language as in the Darfur case, the spokesperson said, in which Sudan's Omar al Bashir is seeking suspension or dropped of genocide charges against him.
Article 16 of the Rome Statute states:
No investigation or prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with under this Statute for a period of 12 months after the Security Council, in a resolution adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, has requested the Court to that effect; that request may be renewed by the Council under the same conditions.
A spokesperson for Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), US-based activist group said, "UN members with veto power can, not only not refer rogue non-member states that commit war-crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, such as Sri Lanka, to the ICC, but also can block the ICC Prosecutor from using his discretionary powers to begin investigations on crimes that violate international law."