By Marco Pizzorno.
On March 31, 2018, Mr. Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud was arrested for war crimes and crimes against humanity. He appeared before Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, at the ICC headquarters in The Hague, on April 4, 2018.
Judge Brichambaut set the hearing to confirm the accusations against Al Hassam, for September 24, 2018.
The arrest warrant alleges that Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag is a member of Ansar Eddine and head of the Islamic police.
He is suspected of crimes against humanity committed in Timbuktu, Mali between April 1, 2012 and January 28, 2013. His crimes include widespread and systematic attack by Ansar Eddine and Al Qaeda armed groups in the Islamic Maghreb against the civilian population of Timbuktu. Some of the crimes include torture, rape, sexual slavery, other inhuman acts, including forced marriages, persecutions; and war crimes, in the context of a non-international armed conflict that occurred in the same period between April 2012 and January 2013.
What are the reasons that led to the trial?
The reasons that definitively led to the trial provided verbatim that the Chambet is convinced that that Al Hassan is criminally responsible pursuant to article 25 (3) (a) or 25 (3) (b ) of the Rome Statute for crimes against humanity for crimes of torture, rape and sexual slavery; also for persecuting the inhabitants of Timbuktu for religious and gender reasons and finally for other inhuman acts.
Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua, who chairs; Judge Tomoko Akane; and judge Kimberly Prost.
The previous cases in Mali
The first time an investigation was opened in Mali, by the Court
In the Hague, for war crimes and destruction of historic and religious buildings, refers to the Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi case in 2015. He was accused of committing war crimes in the northern city of Timbuktu, attacking and destroying part of the historical heritage and numerous religious buildings between 30 June and 10 July 2012.
Le Monde reports fifty jihadists affiliated with Al-Qaeda were killed by the French army, on Friday 30 October, during an operation carried out in Mali, near the border with Burkina Faso, as part of the “Barkhane” operation.
A major effort by the United States is taking place to facilitate a transitional government. The US embassy reports verbatim: “The United States views the establishment of a transitional government in the Republic of Mali as an initial step towards a return to constitutional order. We urge the transitional government to honor its commitments to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), including holding democratic elections within 18 months”. Although the work of the US and France is really complicated it is necessary, the humanitarian situation remains disastrous and the questions are: “What are the policies to restore the dignity of the state and the protection of people’s lives while fighting terrorism?
What else can be done to save people’s lives while organizing a democracy?