Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
(PHOTO CREDIT: RADIO NETHERLANDS WORLDWIDE)
6 August, 2013
(..) The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Monday that after a preliminary investigation she believes that acts attributed to the Boko Haram group in Nigeria are likely crimes against humanity.
“Information available provides a
reasonable basis to believe that since July 2009 Boko Haram has launched a
widespread and systematic attack that
has resulted in the killing of more than
1,200 Christian and Muslim civilians in different locations throughout Nigeria,”
Fatou Bensouda wrote in a report.
She said the potential crimes against
humanity include murder and persecution. But she said she will only move to a full-fledged investigation after further study and depending on whether Nigerian authorities themselves are willing and able to prosecute “those who appear to bear the greatest responsibility.” Her report was based on evidence gathered through December 2012.
Bensouda noted that while the Nigerian
government forces may also have violated human rights while conducting
operations against Boko Haram, as of December 2012 there was no evidence
they were targeting civilians.
The International Criminal Court is the world’s permanent war crimes court, established in The Hague, Netherlands in 2002. The prosecutor’s office formally launched its investigation into the situation in Nigeria in November 2010.