Jurisdiction in the general situation
Mali ratified the Rome Statute on 16 August 2000 and referred the situation in its territory since January 2012 to the ICC. The ICC may exercise its jurisdiction over crimes listed in the Rome Statute committed on the territory of Mali or by its nationals from 1 July 2002 onwards.
Context and alleged crimes
The investigations in Mali have focussed on alleged war crimes committed since January 2012, mainly in three northern regions of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu, with incidents also occurring in the south in Bamako and Sévaré.
In opening the investigation in January 2013, the Office of the Prosecutor issued an Article 53(1) Report, which states: “In 2012, the Situation in Mali was marked by two main events: first, the emergence of a rebellion in the North on or around 17 January, which resulted in Northern Mali being seized by armed groups; and second a coup d’état by a military junta on 22 March, which led to the ousting of President TOURE shortly before Presidential elections could take place, originally scheduled for 29 April 2012.”
The report indicates that the rebellion in the north involved deliberate damaging of shrines of Muslim saints in the city of Timbuktu, attacks on a military bases in Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu, alleged execution of between 70 and 153 detainees at Aguelhok, and incidents of looting and rape. Separately, incidents of torture and enforced disappearances were reported in the context of the military coup.
The Prosecutor alleges that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the following crimes have been committed in Mali:
- war crimes, including murder; mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; intentionally directing attacks against protected objects; the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgement pronounced by a regularly constituted court; pillaging; and rape
Situation in Mali, Article 53(1) Report