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Key facts on the ICC: Africa in the dock

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The International Criminal Court, which took custody of Congolese rebel warlord Bosco Ntaganda on Friday to fly him to the court's detention unit in The Hague, has opened probes in eight countries, all of them in Africa, since it was created in 2002.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Ntaganda turned himself in at the US embassy in Rwanda asking to be sent to The Hague, with the court announcing Friday his plane had left Kigali for the Netherlands.

Nicknamed "The Terminator", he faces seven war crimes and three crimes against humanity charges including murdering civilians, using child soldiers in his rebel army and keeping women as sex slaves between September 2002 and September 2003 in the vast central African country's northeast Ituri district.

Rwandan warlord Sylvestre Mudacumura, military commander of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) remains the only DRC suspect at large and is wanted by the court for murder, rapes and using child soldiers.

In July last year the court sentenced fellow DR Congo accused Thomas Lubanga to 14 years in jail for using children in his own rebel army in 2002-03 in the ICC's first verdict since starting work a decade ago.

Lubanga's lawyers are appealing the sentence.

In December, former Congolese militia boss Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui was acquitted of war crimes after prosecutors failed to prove he played a commanding role in the murder of 200 villagers in a 2003 attack in which child soldiers were used.

A verdict for his co-accused Germain Katanga is expected at a later stage.

In December 2011, the ICC declined to confirm charges against Rwandan citizen Callixte Mburushimana for his involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity in the DR Congo's restive eastern Kivu provinces in 2009.

KENYA

Three Kenyans, including the east African country's president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta face trial later this year for their roles in the post-election violence that gripped the country in 2007-08, which prosecutors say killed at least 1,100 people and displaced more than 600,000.

Prosecutors last week dramatically dropped all charges against Kenyatta's co-accused, top civil servant Francis Muthaura, after a key witness withdrew testimony. It was the first time ICC prosecutors decided to drop a case since the court's inception.

IVORY COAST

Former president Laurent Gbagbo, who was transferred to the ICC prison in The Hague in November 2011, currently faces four counts of crimes against humanity over months of deadly fighting after a November 2010 presidential poll.

Violence broke out when Gbagbo refused to step down in favour of his long-time rival and current President Alassane Ouattara, who was declared the election winner. A verdict on whether he should go on trial is expected soon. The court has also unsealed an arrest warrant for Gbagbo's wife Simone, who is currently in custody in the Ivory Coast.

LIBYA

Arrested on November 19, 2011 in Libya, Seif al-Islam, son of Moamer Kadhafi, has been the object of an ICC arrest warrant for crimes against humanity for his role in the repression of the popular uprising which led to the fall and subsequent death of his father. Libya and the ICC are at odds over who should put him and his fellow suspect, Kadhafi's former spy chief Abdullah Senussi, on trial.

SUDAN

Four Sudanese, including President Omar al-Bashir who is wanted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, are on the ICC's wanted list as part of a probe into the conflict in the western region of Darfur. The region has been wracked since 2003 by a civil war in which 300,000 have died, according to the UN.

Two Darfur rebel leaders, Abdallah Banda and Saleh Jerbo, are to go on trial in May next year for the 2007 killings of 12 African Union peacekeepers in Darfur.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

The DR Congo's former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba, whose rebel army is accused of atrocities in the Central African Republic, has been detained by the ICC since 2008.

Bemba faces three war crimes counts and two of crimes against humanity for murder, rape and pillaging committed by some 1,500 members of his private army in the neighbouring CAR between October 2002 and March 2003, when they went there to back the troops of Ange-Felix Patasse, who was facing a rebellion.

UGANDA

In 2005, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Joseph Kony and other commanders of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) for crimes against humanity and war crimes, including the enrolment of child soldiers and sex slavery committed between 2002 and 2004.

MALI

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced in January she has opened a war crimes probe in Mali where fighting has been going on between northern Islamist insurgents and the Malian army, backed by French forces.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130322/key-facts-the-icc-africa-the-dock