Arusha, April 24, 2012 (FH) –The International Criminal Court (ICC) may investigate crimes allegedly committed in Mali following eruption of violence in January 2012, a statement issued Tuesday by the Office of the Prosecutor said.

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According to the statement, the Office has been closely following the developments in the West African state since clashes erupted around January 17, 2012.

“The Office will further scrutinize the possible commission of ICC crimes on Malian territory by any party and will make a decision in due course as to whether to undertake a preliminary examination of the situation,” the statement reads.

It said that according to several sources, including senior United Nations officials, crimes such as killings, abductions, rapes and conscription of children may have been committed by various groups in the northern part of the country. 

Soldiers headed by Captain Amadou Sanogo ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure in March 2012. But the country has now returned to civilian rule with the country’s parliamentary speaker, Dioncounda Traore, sworn in as interim president on April 12.

Mali ratified the Rome Statute on August 16, 2000. Therefore, the ICC has jurisdiction over possible war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide that may be committed on the territory of Mali or by Malian nationals as of 1 July 2002.