11 June 2020   Leave a comment

The Trump Administration has imposed sanctions on members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) because it has started to investigate was crimes committed by US troops in Afghanistan. The ICC was created in 2002 and 121 states have ratified the Rome Treaty, but the US never signed the treaty which is its legal basis in international law. Other states, such as China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Turkey, have also not ratified the Treaty. The terms of the treaty are specific: it only has jurisdiction if the state in command of the troops committing a war crime refuses to prosecute them for the crimes. In its history, the ICC has prosecuted a number of cases:

“The court’s first verdict, in March 2012, was against Thomas Lubanga, the leader of a militia in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was convicted of war crimes relating to the use of children in that country’s conflict and sentenced in July to 14 years.

“The highest profile person to be brought to the ICC is Ivory Coast’s former President Laurent Gbagbo, who was charged in 2011 with murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution and ‘other inhumane acts'”.

“Other notable cases included charges of crimes against humanity against Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was indicted in 2011 in connection with post-election ethnic violence in 2007-08, in which 1,200 people died. The ICC dropped the charges against Mr Kenyatta in December 2014.”

There is no question that US troops committed war crimes in Afghanistan. Indeed, some soldiers have been convicted by US Courts Martial for war crimes. Unfortunately, some of those soldiers were pardoned by President Trump.

The sanctions represent yet another retreat by the US from a world order based upon international institutions and laws, a world order that the US supported after the end of World War II. Many of the US allies in Europe are disappointed by the US decision.

Posted June 11, 2020 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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