By Justice Hub
For much of its history, Mali has been unstable. Shortly after Mali achieved independence from France in 1960, the Tuaregs in the north of the country attempted their first rebellion to obtain independence and create the state of Azawad. The revolt failed, but the Tuaregs have launched several rebellions since then, the last one being in 2012. The Tuaregs teamed up with two jihadist groups: Ansar Dine and al Qaeda.
On 21 March 2012, the Malian army overthrew the government because of its inability to deal with the Tuareg rebels. The Tuareg insurgents and Ansar Dine took advantage of the situation. They managed to gain partial control over Timbuktu and started implementing their version of sharia law in the area. The Malian government referred the situation to the ICC on 13 July 2012.
The OTP concluded that there was a reasonable basis to believe the following crimes had been committed: murder, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture, intentionally directing attacks against protected objects, passing sentences and carry out executions without previous judgements pronounced by a regularly constituted court, pillaging and rape.
According to Article 8(2)(b)(ix) of the Rome Statute, war crimes include intentional attacks against cultural properties, religious buildings and places where sick people are collected.
The first suspect in ICC custody is Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, who is believed to be a member of Ansar Dine. According to the Office of the Prosecutor, he committed, facilitated or contributed to the commission of attacks on 10 mausoleums in Timbuktu. Al Mahdi appeared at the ICC for the first time on 30 September 2015. The confirmation of charges is scheduled for 1March 2016.
This is part of a series of long-form infocomics about the situations that the ICC is dealing with:
- Why is DRC situation at the ICC?
- Why is CAR I situation at the ICC?
- Why is CAR II situation at the ICC?
- Why is the Kenya situation at the ICC?
- Why is the Uganda situation at the ICC?
- Why is the Darfur situation at the ICC?
The long-form infocomics are made by Italian journalist and cartoonist Emanuele del Rosso.