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Court Watch

countries themselves because they were unable to prosecute the crimes domestically. This was the case in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the Central African Republic. If the country is unwilling or unable to prosecute domestically, then the ICC has jurisdiction to start investigations.

In the past, the ICC has been able to start inves- tigations and prosecutions with the help of a Se- curity Council investigation. This was the case in Darfur and Libya. There are currently two arrest warrants against Sudan’s President Omar al- Bashir for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Some observers contend that the de- mands by both Ban Ki-Moon and human rights groups for an inquiry into the rights violations should be enough to pave the way for the court to begin investigations. El-Abdallah disagreed, stat- ing that either South Sudan has to accept the ICC jurisdiction or it has to happen through a Security Council Resolution.


There are some hurdles with a Security Council resolution. In order for a Security Council resolu- tion to pass, there has to be no veto by any of the P5 countries. P5 countries are the five per- manent members of the Security Council. These countries are the United States, United Kingdom, France, China, and Russia. If any of these five members decide to veto a resolution, it will not pass. This may be relevant in this case. For in- stance, some of the largest oilfields operated by China are located in South Sudan and China has a close relationship with President Kirr. There are internal political factors to consider as well. Some human rights advocates focus on the political as- pect of these crimes rather than their criminal im- plications. These advocates argue that the ethnic and religious divisions in many of these conflicts cannot be solved with a criminal trial.

Back in 2011 when South Sudan was breaking away from Sudan, it was asked whether or not it would join the Court. South Sudan’s minister

for regional cooperation, Deng Alor told report- ers that he did not see any problems with an ICC membership. However, It is very unlikely South Sudan will sign and ratify the Rome Statute. Time will tell whether the Security Council will decide to pass a resolution to authorize prosecutions for the human rights abuses that have been taking place in the country in the past year. In the mean- time, the world’s newest nation will continue to face massive atrocities.

* Submitted by Saiena Shafiezadeh

Madagascar Court Clears Allegations of Election Corruption

On January 17, 2014, Madagascar’s electoral court officially ruled that the recent presidential election was proper and legitimate – making President Hery Rajaonarimampianina the first elected presi- dent since the overthrow of Marc Ravalomanana in 2009. Allegations of corruption arose shortly after the final decision of the second round of the election was announced. However, these allega- tions have failed to produce any credible proof of corruption or misconduct. Looking forward, Mad- agascar must now concentrate on accepting the new presidency and recovering from the political, social, and economic crisis that has gripped the country for half a decade.

Former Finance Minister Hery Rajaonarimampia- nina was one of 33 candidates to enter into the first round of the election in 2013. The election began with tension, as the electoral court an- nounced the removal of several key candidates. Andry Rajoelina, the preceding president and ma- jor force behind the coup in 2009, was removed from the ballot for not filing for candidacy within the statutorily required time period.

Another former president, Didier Ratsiraka, was removed due to residency requirement issues from living outside of Madagascar. Lalao Ravalo- manana, the wife of formerly ousted Marc Ravalo-

ILSA Quarterly » volume 22 » issue 4 » May 2014

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