Libya Resolution, US Insistence on ICC Exclusion Shields
Mercenaries from Algeria, Ethiopia
February 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.
the 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.
the US-demanded paragraph:
that 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.
Footnote: Araud blaming
the US position on "parliamentary
constraints" seemed to some a way to try to blame a decision by Obama's
executive branch on the Republicans who recently took over the House of
Representatives. But it was an Obama administration decision. More
nuanced apologists blame the Defense Department for pulling rank on
State. But the result is mercenaries firing freely.
* * *
Final Libya Draft Has ICC Referral, Mentions Article 16
February 26 -- As final draft of the Libya
being prepared for a 5 pm UN Security Council meeting on Saturday,
China said it had to call Beijing for instructions.
Gerard Araud bragged that the referral of the case of Libya to the
International Criminal Court is still in the draft, crowing “I told
spokesperson added, when asked by Inner City Press, that a perambular
paragraph of the new draft explicitly mentions Article 16 of the Rome
Statute of the ICC, stating that the prosecution could be suspended
for 12 months.
It's the same
language as in the Darfur case, the
spokesperson said, in which Sudan's Omar al Bashir is seeking
suspension or dropped of genocide charges against him.
goal is to
get those around Gadhafi to stop and defect, a EU Council members
spokesperson told the Press. Some had argued that it would push
Gadhafi over the edge, this spokesperson said, but we agreed he was
already over the edge. But others could defect to avoid prosecution.
way to do
that, another pointed out, would be to set the date of the situation
one day forward. Because there are people who could defect today who
are already guilty.
will be done
about the mercenaries, from Algeria and elsewhere, alleged by Libya's
Deputy ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi? Watch this site.
Update of 4:50 pm --
a Western spokesperson says the vote is moved back from 5 pm to 8 pm,
says "mood music" is of urgency. So what's another 3 hours? Hmm.
idea is to see if China is bold enough to veto on ICC language.
* * *
Shalgam Supports Referral to ICC, Spin of France & NGO,
February 26 -- With the UN Security
Council deadlocked on
whether and when to refer the case of Libya to the International
Criminal Court, a letter arrived that might tip the balance.
Abdurrahman Shalgam, writing as Libya's Permanent Representative to
the UN although on February 25 he compared Gadhafi to Hitler and Pol
Pot, wrote to the Council presidency that:
reference to the Draft Resolution on Libya before the Security
Council, I have the honour to confirm that the Libyan Delegation to
the United Nations supports the measures proposed in the draft
resolution to hold to account those responsible for the armed attacks
against the Libyan Civilians, including trough [sic] the
International Criminal Court.”
diplomat, insisting on being identified in that way, said that the
letter may change the positions of, among others, Brazil and of
Portugal, previously identified as not supporting referral of Libya
to the ICC today. The diplomat added, contrary to an argument made in
the press pen, that a letter from a Mission is not enough to join the
ICC, it would require a letter from a prime minister or head of state
Ambassador going out for lunch was shown the Shalgam letter by Inner
City Press and said, “So?”
is unclear how
the letter will play in the Council. Some might argue that if it is a
“self -referral,” no ICC language is needed in the resolution.
Others might argue that if Gadhafi's own former foreign minister
favors the ICC referral, the day after a much applauded speech at the
UN, Council members should go along.
Shalgam at UN - some want HIM as next S-G
his way out,
France's Ambassador Gerard Araud said that no Council member has
questioned Shalgam's credentials to represent Libya. But he noted
that the letter is to the Council president, not to the ICC. Inner
City Press asked him if all EU members on the Council support
referral of Libya to the ICC in the resolution today. “Ask the EU
members of the Council,” he said. The Council will reconvene at 3
argument that Shalgam's letter allows the ICC Prosecutor to
consider if it is a request for self-investigation came was made to
many reporters in the press pen by Richard Dicker, a representative
of Human Rights Watch. Previously, complaints have been made to the
UN Media and Accreditation Liaison Unit about Mr. Dicker's presence
in the press pen, which is often said to only be for UN accredited
Recently, HRW criticized Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
for being weak on human rights in China, Sri Lanka and elsewhere --
for Inner City Press story on Team Ban's reaction.
Regardless, the “no NGOs in the press pen” rule has been enforced
on others -- but was not on HRW's Dick Dicker on Saturday.We'll have
more on the rule of law late in the day.
* * *
Portugal Denies It Doesn't Support Referring Libya to ICC, EU
February 26 -- On the International Criminal Court and
whether and when the case of Libya should be referred to it, even the
European Union is not united, it emerged Saturday at the UN. As the
Security Council met on a draft resolution which would refer Libya to
the ICC, a Western -- and we must say, EU -- diplomat emerged to tell
the Press that Portugal was not supporting referring Libya to the
ICC, due to concerns about retaliation against their citizens in
e-mailed the Mission of Portugal and asked for a response, ideally to
the assembly UN press corps. And it happened: Portugal emerged and
told Inner City Press that Portugal supports the draft as is, with
the referral of Libya to the ICC, adding that Portugal is open to a
compromise to get a resolution done today.
surmise that there may have been an idea of blaming Portugal for
dropping from the draft the referral of Libya to the ICC.
been requested: watch this site.
Mission tweets in response to Inner City Press that it will have a
lot to say on the record. When?
1:43 pm -- a Afro-Arab state's representative tells Inner City
Press that in consultations, Portugal was speaking of putting
referral of Libya to the ICC in a separate resolution. Still no
response from the Western spokesperson who threw Portugal under the bus.
talk of China being 100% opposed to referral, with the
counter-proposal of saying ICC will be discussed later coming from
India and Gabon -- whose president Ali Bongo is a supporter of
Gadhafi, and which dropped out of a planned joint stakeout with South
Africa and Nigeria after Friday's meeting. Watch this site.
* * *
Will France & UK Drop Referral of Case to ICC for Mere Mention - and Blame it on Portugal?
February 26, updated -- As
the UN Security Council convened on
Saturday morning on the UK draft
resolution on Libya, the way the
International Criminal Court will be dealt with seemed the major
Representative Gerard Araud said there “will be a reference to the
ICC.” But the issues is whether the case of Libya will be referred
to the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC, as the case of Darfur
was, leading to the indictment of Sudan's president Omar al Bashir.
asked Araud, do you mean referral of the case of Libya to the ICC?
But Araud walked away.
Representative Mark Lyall Grant stopped and said “there are a
number of issues Ambassadors will have to address,” then walked
that the Permanent Representatives' meeting was put back from 11 to
11:30 am, that some compromises had been made in the “experts'
meeting” that began at 9 am and a new draft was being printed.
there was wide agreement on sanctions, and that this represented a
major historical change. On Friday when asked about imposing a no fly
zone, he said that from the lessons of Bosnia, no one had even asked
so far is the question of foreign mercenaries. Watch this site.
Update of 11:35 am -
a Western spokesman now says that while "all" agree on referral of case
to ICC at some point, they might want to go in stages. So could a
resolution passed today not even deal with issue of th referral of the
case of Libya to the ICC, just refer to ICC and the possibility of
Permanent Representative Hardeep Singh Puri pointed out to the Press
that India is not a member of the ICC.
11:42 am, Susan Rice walked in, without saying anything.
Update of 11:57 a.m.
- a Western spokesperson emerges to tell the Press that Portugal is
opposing referral of Libya to the ICC because of possible retaliation
against its citizens in Libya. A response has been sought from
Update of 12:17 pm
-- now a Western spokesperson emerges to sketch out three scenarios on
ICC: referral now, referral at a date certain in the future, or merely
saying the Council will meet in the future to consider referral. Says
they "will" be consensus. Sounds like they could live with the third
option, merely mentioning future consideration. Wow.
Update of 12:29 pm
-- response to emailed Press question, Portugal emerges and says it
supports draft AS IS, with referral of case of Libya to ICC, open to
compromise to get it done today. So why did the other Western / EU
spokesperson "throw Portugal under the bus"? Maybe to justify in
advance their own selling out of the ICC referral? We'll ask- Watch
* * *
UN Resolution, France Will Flexibly Insist on ICC, Gabon Breaks Unity;
Shalgam Full Text, Resolution Link
February 25 -- After Libyan, but
no longer Gadhafi,
Ambassador Shalgam brought the UN House down with his speech
comparing Gadhafi to Pol Pot and Hitler and calling for the Security
Council to quick adopt a courageous resolution (rough transcription of
Shalgam below), there was a lot of
talk about unity and agreement between Council members.
there is no
agreement on referring Libya to the International Criminal Court. And
Inner City Press is told that a planned unity stakeout by the
Council's three African members broke down after the pull out of
Gabon, whose President Ali Bongo is a friend of Gadhafi. So much for
asked French Ambassador Gerard Araud how important retaining the
referral to the ICC in the draft
resolution is to France. Araud replied that he will insist
on it, but can be flexible on language.
City Press asked the representative of other Council member, who
laughed at Araud's conflation of insistence and flexibility. He
asked, how is that possible?
convene Saturday at 9 am at the expert level, then for consultations
by the Permanent Representatives at 11 am. Western spokespeople said
that a vote on an adoption of the resolution is possible Saturday.
that only be if the Westerners agree to drop the referral
to the ICC?
the Council consulted, Shalgam came to speak to the Press, fast
transcription below. Among many other things he mentioned "two
thousand prisoners who were killed in
the prison of Abu Salim in 1996." But he worked for Gadhafi then, and
after. Some wondered, how far back would an ICC referral go? If
to the founding date of the ICC, some now renouncing are implicated.
Maybe that's why the sentence in the draft
resolution is "decides to refer the situation in Libya since 15 February 2011 to the
Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court."
Council's meeting on Friday afternoon, there were stakeout sessions,
the first by Ban Ki-moon who bragged of going to Washington on Monday
- “to get his marching orders,” a non-Western observer snarked.
Ban at the
stakeout, with his personal rostrum, repeated word for word what he had
said in the Council's open meeting. He then took three questions, each
carefully chosen by his spokesman Martin Nesirky. The answers deferred
to member states.
consultations over, the Brazilian
President of the Council read some so-called elements to the press:
not even a formal Council Press Statement. Inner City Press asked her
if any member or members had expressed reservations about referral to
the ICC. She said she wouldn't like to discussed particular parts of
France spoke, first in English including Inner City Press' question
about the ICC, then unilaterally in French. He asked if there were no
French journalists, then answered his own question, apparently in
order to appear on French TV.
Shalgam leaves UN, years of Gadhafi service not
shown (c) MRLee
Lyall Grant, on the other hand, did not speak to the assembled press.
Rather, his Mission sent to all a link to the Ambassador's interview
with UN Radio.
Ambassadors were not heard from at all; a
question posed via Twitter was never answered. The USUN Spokesman
took (tw)issue with a characterization of the Mission in Inner City
Press as “AWOL,” Absent With Out Leave,” but then never replied
to the response. Perhaps IWOL, then: Invisible With Out Leave. Watch
of Shalgam at UN February 25, 2011 by a Friend on Inner
chief of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, was asked why did you
execute 1/3 of your people? He said, I did that because of the
people. Before invading the Soviet Union, Hitler, he told Rommel ...
his general, I intend to invade the Soviet Union. Rommel told him,
that will cost us another 2 million. Hitler replied, what is the
significance of 2 million Germans dying in the interest of the glory
of the Fuhrer, the leader?
taking place in Libya, ladies and gentleman, is indeed very
dangerous. On 25th of February, a group of peaceful civilians walked
out, calling for the release of a lawyer called ... following the
case of 16 February, the case of 2000 prisoners who were killed in
the prison of Abu Salim in 1996. This group were faced firing on
their heads, as if the soldiers who opened fire don't know that the
human being has a head, heart, and legs. There are other parts that
can be shot at. Tear gas bombs, road blocks that can contain
demonstrations. They are asking for democracy, they are asking for
progress, they are asking for freedom, they are asking for their
rocks. They demonstrate peacefully, they didn't throw a single stone.
They were killed. What did brother Muammar Gadhafi say? He said that
these people used this hallucination tablets. Tens of thousands would
need mountains of these pills to lose their brains and minds and act
up. One million turned out in Benghazi yesterday. A mountain of
tablets that the Colonel claimed would not be enough. Muammar Gadhafi
and his sons are telling the Libyans, either I rule you or I kill
you. It is clear this evening, after tens of our brothers were killed
in Kadjura [?], eastern Tripoli, he came out in a speech before
children who were brought from asylums and some soldiers dressed in
civilian clothes, and he told them, I will burn Libya, I will
distribute arms to the tribes, Libya will turn red because of blood.
Is this because of glory? Or is this because of the people. Muammar
Qaddafi cannot give a single weapon to any person in Libya because it
will be used against him.
to be in this position. When I heard Qaddafi addressing a
secondary school in 1959, he was talking about freedom for Congo.
1960, I listened to him complaining about the French nuclear
experiments in Algeria. 1961, I listened to him against the
separation between Syria and Egypt. Today, I listen to him telling
his people either I rule over you or I kill you, destroy. Don't be
afraid. Libya is united. Libya will remain united. Libya will be a
progressive state, but I tell my brother Qaddafi, leave the Libyans
alone. However you kill, however the atrocities who presented martyrs
when they were barefooted, when they were poor in need against
Mussolini, [inaudible name] said it clearly, we don't surrender.
Either we get victory or we die. We do not surrender. Either victory
or death. ...
6-month child who was killed a follower of bin Laden? Libya was
established via a resolution of the United Nations. Please, United
Nations, save Libya. No to bloodshed, no to killing of innocents. We
want a decisive, rapid and courageous resolution from you. I thank
you for your attention.
everyone followed my statement before the SC. Now they're going
to deliberate, the members, on the draft of the resolution. It was
important for us, for the Libyan people, that the Security Council
should act now. A real decision to stop what's going on in our
country, the bloodshed, firing the innocent civilians, and I hope
that within hours, not days, they can do something tangible,
effective, to stop what they are doing there, Gaddafi and his sons,
against our people.
to us, for the Libyan people that the SC should have now a
real decision to stop what's going on in our country, the bloodshed.
Firing the innocent civilians, and I hope that within hours and not
days they can do something tangible to stop what they are doing
there, Qaddafi and his sons, against our people, our innocent.
are your thoughts about sanctions against Libya?
no no no, there will not be sanctions against Libya as a country.
The sanctions would be against Qaddafi and his family, and those
people who are killing people with him.
did you change your mind?
didn't change my mind. From the beginning, I couldn't imagine in
the beginning there was going to be this toll of the victims,the
cadavers everywhere. When a government shoot citizens, when it fires
at citizens because they are saying no, it can't continue. It's can't
be legal for a king or a president while you are killing people just
for saying "We want to be free." It's not a crime if
someone said, “I want to be free.”
there be a no-fly zone?
Press: Have you resigned?
I am here representing Libya. Libya. The only thing that is more
important than Qaddafi, than everyone that is , instead to be your
blood. My family. All Libya is my family and my blood.
did you meet Qaddafi?
were in the same area, in the south of Libya, he was older than
me....... he was a young man, maybe he was 17...I am from another
village but I was following, he was well-known, he was a follower of
Gamal Abdel Nasser, we were proud of him. I was one of his closest –
not friends, who worked with him since the beginning of the
revolution. Unfortunately, we started with the revolution and the
freedom, and ended up killing our people. It's incredible.
do you say to the other Libyan diplomats?
think that 90% of our missions all over the world are not with
Qaddafi. Most of them now, with had a statement, we are working for
Libya, and they consider me their minister of Foreign Affairs because
I was the foreign minister for 9 years. They are working directly
do you tell Qaddafi?
am afraid that he is going -- these horrible statements, I dont'
know how he's going to finish. I don't know. As I say in the SC, that
3 things won't exist any more. Colonialism, slavery, and the rule of
one person. It's finished. And the Arab world is going to change
completely. When Qaddafi will flee, or I don't know what will happen,
all the Arab world will move quickly for freedom, and we have
slogans, Arab unity, by the tyrants? No. Now the people will do it.
Now all the Arab world, from the ocean, Morocco to the Gulf, in
Bahrain supporting Libya. All of them supporting Libya. All of them,
and tomorrow when we finish, when Libya will be free we'll start
another country, and within one year you'll have another Arab world.
Thank you very much.