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Fatou Bensouda new prosecutor of the ICC

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Gambian Fatou Bensouda has been appointed new prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. One of her chosen priorities is to develop a strong gender policy.

Fatou Bensouda

Fatou Bensouda. © Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images.

- Massive crimes continue to be committed in Darfur; Joseph Kony and the Lord Resistance Army’s acts of violence continue unabated in central Africa; Bosco Ntaganda is still a fugitive of the ICC. In total, 11 arrest warrants remain outstanding. Nothing short of arresting all those against whom warrants have been issued will ensure that justice is done for millions of victims of the crimes committed by these fugitives, Fatou Bensouda said in her acceptance speach.

- It (the office of the Prosecutor) will in particular (…) continue to look for innovative methods for the collection of evidence to bring further gender crimes and crimes against children to the Court to ensure effective prosecutions of these crimes while respecting and protecting their victims.

“Signals new era”

Fatou Bensouda has served as ICC’s Deputy Prosecutor on Prosecutions since 2004. Besides from promoting the development of a gender policy, she also has named reviewing the quality and efficiency of investigations and prosecutions and clarifying the process through which the office selects where it will conduct investigations, as issues she will focus on during her time in office.

Amnesty International welcomed Bensouda’s stated priorities and said that the inaugeration of her ”signals a new era in international justice and the potential for a more robust approach to their (the ICC’s) prosecution strategy”. The organization has previously called parts of the ICC’s prosecution strategy too restrictive, as with the case of Thomas Lubanga, who was only charged with crimes regarding the recruitment of child soldiers and not the other crimes, including sexual violence, that he was accused of.

Seven investigations

The ICC is currently investigating crimes in Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Libya, the Darfur region of Sudan and Uganda. It is examining allegations of crimes in seven other situations in order to determine whether to open investigations: Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Republic of Korea, Honduras and Nigeria.

Malin Ekerstedt

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