Libya Resolution, US Expert Pushed for Carve Out, Chinese Circus
February 28 -- Two days after the UN Security
its resolution on Libya, various Council sources told Inner City
Press how the resolution came about, and what they did during the
three hour lull before voting: attend a Chinese circus.
India were pushing to hold off on referring the case of Libya to the
International Criminal Court, arguing that to make the referral in
the first resolution would mean the Council had expended all or most
of its ammunition and would have nowhere else to go.
say that when
South Africa and Lebanon, after tearful Libyan ambassador Shalgam's
letter, came out in favor of immediate referral to the ICC, the
insisting on an exemption
from the ICC referral for citizens of
countries which are not members of the ICC at the Saturday morning
“experts” meeting. Brazil had abstained from the Council's
referral to the ICC of Darfur, in opposition to American
exceptionalism. But this time they went along.
the February 28
UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky if Mr. Ban agreed which this carve
out from the ICC referral:
Press: I wanted to ask actually about one aspect of the
resolution that was passed Saturday that you are saying the
Secretary-General praises. There is a paragraph, paragraph six, in
which citizens of States that are not members of the ICC
[International Criminal Court] are exempt from… even if the crime,
even if their acts were in Libya, they won’t be tried by or
investigated by the ICC. Brazil was critical of it; there are some
others that have been critical of it. I wonder, does Ban Ki-moon
have a view on whether this type of exceptions to the territorial
jurisdiction of crimes committed in Libya is a good thing, and is it
something that he might raise to President Obama? What is his view
Well, I’ll come back to you on that. As you know, there
are two routes if a country is not a State party to the Rome Statute,
for action to be taken for the International Criminal Court’s
jurisdiction to hold. One is if the country concerned agrees to that
jurisdiction. And the second is, as we saw on Saturday, a referral
by the Security Council to the International Criminal Court.
Press: This resolution refers, it refers to Libya, but it
expressly excludes from the referral any citizens, like American
citizens, let’s say, or Indian citizens or, it would also include
Algeria, you know, various other… Ethiopia, countries that are
non-ICC members but who are alleged to have some of their nationals
fighting with [Muammar Al-]Qadhafi, and so, I just, well, that’s
what I am wondering. Sort of a big international law issue.
As I say, if I have anything further on that, I would let
you know. I think there is little doubt that the resolution that was
passed on Saturday evening was an extremely important one, and I
think it sent a very clear message to people, not just in Libya,
about accountability and the need to ensure that, as I say, people
are held accountable for the actions.
Ban's office had nothing to say. Meanwhile several Council
Ambassadors confirmed to Inner City Press that during the lull in the
Council's Saturday meeting on Libya, from five to eight pm, they went
to attending a Chinese circus acrobats exhibition, to celebrate China
taking over the Council in March.
Li Baodong did not go see the acrobats: he had to call and
wait for Beijing's answer on the resolution. But many diplomats of
the sometimes circus-like Security Council were literally at the
circus in the run up to the vote. Only at the UN.
* * *
Resolution, US Insistence on ICC Exclusion Shields
Mercenaries from Algeria, Ethiopia
26 -- After passage
of a compromise Libya
resolution by the UN Security Council on Saturday night, Inner City
Press asked French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud if
mercenaries aren't let off the hook by the sixth operative paragraph,
exempting personnel from states not members of the International
Criminal Court from ICC prosecution.
paragraph, but said the the United States had demanded
it. He said, “No, that's, that was for one country, it was
absolutely necessary for one country to have that considering its
parliamentary constraints, and this country we are in. It was a red
line for the United States. It was a deal-breaker, and that's the
reason we accepted this text to have the unanimity of the Council.”
administration Ambassador to the UN in 2002 threatened to veto a UN
resolution on Bosnia if it did not contain a similar exclusion, the
Obama administration has maintained this insistence on impunity,
which in this case applies to mercenaries from Algeria, Tunisia and
Ethiopia, among other mercenary countries.
(In the case
there are allegations of official support for Gadhafi).
Press was able to ask UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant about the
exclusion for mercenaries from non ICC countries, US Permanent
Representative Susan Rice did not take a question from Inner City
Press, and none on this topic, despite having mentioned mercenaries
in her speech.
Obama, Hillary & Susan Rice: mercenary impunity not shown
no longer Gadhafi, diplomat Ibrahim Dabbashi came out to take
questions, Inner City Press asked him which countries the mercenaries
used by Gadhafi come from.
Algeria, Tunisia and Ethiopia
-- highlighted by NGOs as non ICC members -- as well as Chad, Niger,
Kenya and Guinea. So some mercenaries could be prosecuted by the
ICC, and not others, under language demanded by the US Mission to the
UN. Watch this site.
nationals, current or former officials or personnel from
a State outside the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which is not a party to
the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject
to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for all alleged acts or
omissions arising out of or related to operations in the Libyan Arab
Jamahiriya established or authorized by the Council, unless such
exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State.