International Criminal Court Issues Warrant for Gaddafi
Moammar Gaddafi is now a wanted man - the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued a warrant for his arrest to face charges of crimes against humanity. Warrants were also issued on other charges against Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, and son-in-law Abdullah al-Sanussi. Citing the capture of Ratko Mladic last month after 15 years as a fugitive from the ICC, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo stated, "these arrest warrants are not going away."
Whether or not the warrants are going away may not be the issue. Libya has refused to recognize them, or the ICC. As far as Libyan government officials are concerned, the court is merely a cover for NATO. Since it is highly unlikely that anyone in Libya other than the rebels would actually turn in Gaddafi, his son, or Al-Sanussi, Moreno-Ocampo may have to wait quite a while before he sees these fugitives face the ICC charges.
While many western nations may applaud this move, according to the American Enterprise Institute, these warrants may actually increase the longevity of Gaddafi's rule in Libya. By removing his ability to seek refuge in many other nations, the ICC has given Gaddafi real incentive to fight to the death. The warrants are the result of a UN Security Council Resolution, and "states not party to the Rome Statute have no obligations under the statute, the Security Council urged all states and concerned regional and other international organisations to cooperate fully with the court and the prosecutor." Finding a nation that has not signed the Rome Statute, and is willing to take in the dictator may not be an easy task. Only 13 nations in the Middle East and Africa have not signed.
While Gaddafi is surrounded by critics and enemies around the world, at least one nation is attempting to stay neutral - China. “China hopes the ICC can prudently, justly and objectively carry out its duties, and ensure that its relevant work genuinely aids regional peace and stability," said Hong Lei, China's foreign ministry spokesman. China is not known for involving itself in the domestic affairs of other nations, and denounced the ICC's war crimes indictment of Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir - the other sitting head of state with an outstanding ICC warrant.