Monday, May 16, 2011

ICC Charges Gadhafi; NATO Blows Up Bomb Boat

Updated 5:15 p.m. edt

Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim shrugged off the International Criminal Court's arrest warrant for Moammar Gadhafi, noting the ICC's "impotence" in apprehending other wanted leaders, like Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, remains in Khartoum despite charges in 2008 that he had a direct role in the genocide in Darfur.

“The ICC is not important for us. We are not part of the Rome statute. We will not show any attention to the decision, Kaim said, according to The Telegraph of London. “The practices of the ICC are questionable. It’s a baby of the European union designed for [prosecuting] African leaders.”

"We are more interested [in] the human rights council and in moving forward with trying to implement a ceasefire," Kaim said, according to The Guardian of London.

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An arrest warrant was issued today for Moammar Gadhafi, charging him with crimes against humanity for the slaughter of protesters who called for democratic reforms and an end to his 41-year rule.

At The Hague, International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo also requested judges consider issuing warrants for Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam and his brother-in-law and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, Reuters reported.

Now what? Does charging Gadhafi and his son and brother-in-law with war crimes further entrench the regime or does it send a massage to others to get out now before they face similar counts from the international court, ponders one blogger at Foreign Policy.

The court actions came as NATO maintained a stepped up tempo against Gadhafi forces and targets.

NATO warships intercepted a small boat rigged by Gadhafi forces with high explosives meant to disrupt shipping into Misurata. NATO blew the boat, manned with two life-like human dummies, out of the water.

"This is the first evidence of an attempt to use an improvised explosive device with decoy human mannequins to threaten commercial shipping and humanitarian aid in the area of Misrata," NATO said in a statement.

There were also reports of NATO air strikes overnight on Tripoli and one of the city's suburbs Tajoura. There were also strikes on Zawiyah, about 30 miles west of Tripoli, and Zuara, 80 miles west of the capital.

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