ISSN 2330-717X

Libya: Claims NATO Using Depleted Uranium, Calls For War Crimes Investigation


The King of Ivory Coast Tchiffi Zie Jean Gervais wants the International Criminal Court to investigate claims NATO forces in Libya are using depleted uranium in bombing attacks, which the group he represents claims could constitute war crimes.

In particular, the Forum of the King, Sultans, Princes, Sheiks and Traditional Leader in Africa claims the use of depleted uranium in the recent NATO attacks that killed the son and the two grandsons of Muammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi is the president of the Forum, and Tchiffi Zie Jean Gervais is the Secretary General.

The International Criminal Court (ICC), governed by the Rome Statute, was established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.

“His Majesty, Tchiffi Zie Jean Gervais, Permanent Secretary General of the Forum of the King, Sultans, Princes, Sheiks and Traditional Leader in Africa, whose President is Muammar Gaddafi gave mandate to the lawyers Fabio Maria Galiani and Laura Barberio to submit to the International Criminal Court a request of investigation on the use of weapons with depleted uranium by the NATO military forces and on the killings of Libyan civilians, such as the son and the two grandsons of Muammar Gaddafi, caused by the NATO military forces bombing, asking to investigate for war crimes those responsible of such acts,” according to a press statement sent by the attorneys.

According to that statement, “the Forum gave mandate to the mentioned lawyers to preliminary request to the International Criminal Court to review the valuation of the Prosecutor regarding the ICC jurisdiction on the situation in Libya, since the moment that the 1970 LIN SC Resolution referred such situation barring the International Criminal Court jurisdiction in regard of acts committed by certain categories of non-Libyan citizens, in spite of the fact that the Statute of Rome of the International Criminal Court do not confer to the UN SC any power to select, on the base of their nationalities, the persons to be investigated by the ICC.”

In addition, the note claimed that “the mentioned violation of the ICC Statute damages the independence and the impartiality of the International Criminal Court.”

The ICC is an independent international organisation, and is not part of the United Nations system. Its seat is at The Hague in the Netherlands. Although the Court’s expenses are funded primarily by States Parties, it also receives voluntary contributions from governments, international organisations, individuals, corporations and other entities.

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One thought on “Libya: Claims NATO Using Depleted Uranium, Calls For War Crimes Investigation

  • May 5, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    The question of jurisdiction of ICC over Libya begs to be resolved. UN and ICC actions regarding Libya are completely arbitrary and whimsical, which is not the way to go about justice. First, UN voted to refer Gadhafi to ICC prior to looking into any evidence. Second, U.S, Russia, and China are not signatory to ICC. Yet, they voted for the resolution to refer Gadhafi to the court, which they do not recognize. Libya is also not signatory to ICC. Yet, Libya is obviously forced by UN to be subject to jurisdiction of the court, which Libya does not recognize. That would mean that recognition of the court is compulsory, if UN decides so; this despite of the fact, which this article mentions, that ICC is not part of UN system. Also, UN action to force Libya to accept ICC jurisdiction makes the option to recognize the court, or not, really irrelevant. Why then does that option exist? It looks that big powers have options and the pretence is kept that small countries have the same option, until big powers decide to abolish it.


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