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Nigeria: ICC is Analysing Jos Crisis, Says Prosecutor

ICC Note

We welcome the move by the International Criminal Court to look into the recent killings in Jos. There has been an increase in attacks against Christians by Muslims in Jos and we hope ICC investigation will result in prosecution of those responsible for killing of innocent civilians.

11/8/2010 Nigeria (AllAfrica) – The Chief Prosecutor of the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) Luis Moreno Ocampo has said that the court is analyzing issues concerning the crises that occurred in Jos to establish potential crimes against humanity.

The ICC’s interest to launch an examination of the violence that erupted in Jos last year was as a result of petition filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to Mr Ocampo’s office.

The petition requested Ocampo to use his position “to investigate proprio motu allegations of unlawful killing of at least 326 people and perpetration of other crimes under international law during the violence in January 2010 in Jos, Plateau State of Nigeria; and the reports that the military and police used excessive force against both Christians and Muslims in responding to the violence.”

In the letter with reference number OTP-CR-58/10, dated 5 November 2010, and signed on behalf of Mr Ocampo by M.P. Dillon, Head of Information and Evidence Unit of the Office of the Prosecutor, the ICC said that, “On behalf of the Prosecutor, I thank you for your communication received on 01/02/2010, as well as any subsequent related information.

“The Office is analyzing the situation identified in your communication, with the assistance of other related communications and other available information. Under Article 53 of the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor must consider whether there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court have been committed, the gravity of the crimes, whether national systems are investigating and prosecuting the relevant crimes, and the interests of justice. Analysis will be carried out as expeditiously as possible, but please be aware that meaningful analysis of these factors can take some time.”

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