[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Office of the Prosecutor said Tuesday that they are monitoring the situation [text] in Mali [JURIST news archive] for potential crimes under the ICC's jurisdiction. The statement notes that Mali has ratified the Rome Statute [text] giving the ICC jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity that may have occurred since fighting began in January. The prosecutor's office said:
According to several sources, including senior United Nations officials, crimes such as killings, abductions, rapes and conscription of children may have been committed by various groups in the northern part of the country. The Office will further scrutinize the possible commission of ICC crimes on Malian territory by any party and will make a decision in due course as to whether to undertake a preliminary examination of the situation under Article 15 and Article 53.1 of the Rome Statute.The violence has caused more than 200,000 people to leave the region [press release] since January, according to a spokesperson from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Mali has experienced military turmoil since Taureg rebels began attacking Malian soldiers [Al Jazeera report] in January. Many in the international community have expressed concern over the situation, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and the UNHCR [JURIST reports]. All of this has come after Malian soldiers took control of the government [JURIST report] and suspended the constitution in March.