The Hague, February 17, 2011 (FH) - The search for a successor to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, whose term will expire in June 2012, is underway and some African candidates have already expressed their interests to vie for the position.

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Moreno-Ocampo's successor should be elected by consensus of the tenth session of the Assembly of States Parties which will be held in New-York from December 12 to 21, 2011.

A Search Committee, which operates from New York has been set up and is mandated to facilitate the nomination and election of the next Prosecutor.

Over the next few months, the Committee will "informally receive expression of interests from individuals, States, regional and international organizations, civil society, professional associations and other sources".

It can also suggest other names. The committee will then produce a short-list of at least three suitable candidates.

During its annual summit in January, African Union chose its candidate: Chile Eboe-Osuji, 48, a Canadian-Nigerian citizen, who has been working at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) since 1997 at different positions. However, several NGO's have expressed their wish to see an African woman as the next ICC Prosecutor.

According to different sources at the African Union and at the ICC Headquarters, Gambian Fatou Bensouda would be a candidate. A former Minister of Justice in her home country, she has been working at the ICC since 2000, becoming in 2004 Moreno-Ocampo's Deputy Prosecutor.

Gambian Hassan Bubacar Jallow, who has been ICTR Prosecutor in chief since 2003, would also be interested to vie for the position, though the information has not been confirmed yet.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo was elected for a 9-year term but his successor could have a shorter mandate if the Assembly of States Parties decides so.


© Hirondelle News Agency