The Hague, July 4, 2011 (FH) -  African Union has decided during its 17th Summit held from June 30 to July 1st in Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) not to execute the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Moammar Gadhafi.

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According to a statement released by the UA, the arrest warrant  "seriously complicates the efforts aimed at finding a negotiated political solution to the crisis in Libya".

ICC issued arrest warrants on June 27 for Gadhafi, his son Saif al-Islam Gadhafi and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Sanussi for "crimes against humanity," including murder and persecution, "allegedly committed across Libya" from February 15 through "at least" February 28.

The decision to investigate Gadhafi came from a unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution. The U.N. Security Council referred the matter to the ICC through a resolution on February 26, following widespread complaints about Gadhafi's efforts to crush a rebellion.

Libya is not a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the international court's authority, and the court does not have the power to enter Libya and arrest the leaders. Gadhafi has made clear he would not recognize the court's authority.

UN Security Council has the right to adjourn for a year - renewable - ICC legal proceedings if they put peace or international security at risk.

African Union decision reflects its mistrust towards ICC and its Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo since he issued an arrest warrant for Omar Al-Bashir in July 2008.

Thirty-two African states have ratified the Rome Statute since 1998.


© Hirondelle News Agency