UN prosecutor calls for war crimes probe

2013-02-18 16:21
Syrian refugee children peer from a tent supplied by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in al-Marj, in the eastern Lebanese Bekaa Valley. (File, AFP)

Syrian refugee children peer from a tent supplied by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in al-Marj, in the eastern Lebanese Bekaa Valley. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - The International Criminal Court should be called in to probe war crimes in Syria, former UN prosecutor Carla del Ponte said on Monday.

"The international community - and the UN Security Council - must take the decision to refer this to justice," del Ponte, the member of a UN-mandated commission of inquiry on the Syria conflict, told reporters.

"We suggest the International Criminal Court. We can't decide, but we are pressuring the international community to act, because it's time to act," she said after releasing a report by the commission on the situation in Syria after almost two years of fighting.

The report said that both Syrian state forces and rebels were committing war crimes, though it said the government camp carried more blame.

The decision to refer the conflict to the International Criminal Court lies with the UN Security Council, where there are deep splits between Western members and Russia, a longstanding ally of Syria's regime, plus China.

'Victims increasing day to day'

China has backed Russia in vetoing Security Council resolutions that would have put greater pressure on President Bashar Assad's regime. Beijing has also repeatedly urged dialogue to end the violence.

The straight-talking del Ponte said she was dumbfounded that the international community had failed to call the perpetrators to account.

"It's time to react. After two years, it's incredible that the Security Council hasn't made a decision," she said. "Justice must be imminent, urgent. The number of victims is increasing day to day. Justice must be done."

The commission of inquiry was set up in 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council.

It is due next month to submit a confidential list of individuals, military and militia units allegedly involved in war crimes to the UN's human rights office, but is not planning to make the list public.

Del Ponte is renowned for her tough stance as the UN's top prosecutor investigating war crimes in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

"I'm not the prosecutor dealing with this case. Unfortunately," she said, adding: "Justice is a contribution for peace and reconciliation."

Read more on:    un  |  bashar assad  |  syria  |  syria conflict
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.