- The US has announced sanctions against senior ICC officials carrying out investigations into war crimes in Afghanistan
- Officials sanctioned by the US include the ICC's chief prosecutor and director of jurisdiction, complementary, and cooperation division
- The United States of America alleged that the judicial body attempts to target Americans
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A report by BBC News indicates that top officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC), including chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, have been sanctioned by the United States of America.
Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State who made the announcement on Wednesday, September 3, accused the judicial body of "illegitimate attempts to subject Americans to its jurisdiction".
Though Pompeo did not give any specific reasons for the move, he added that Phakiso Mochochoko, ICC director of jurisdiction, complementary, and cooperation division, was among officials sanctioned.
Back in June, United States President Donald Trump issued an executive order which allows the country to block ICC employees' assets as well as restricting them from entering the US.
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Pompeo went on to explain that Bensouda and Mochochoko were to be sanctioned under this order. The issuance of visas for ICC staff involved in investigating US personnel has also been restricted by the US state department.
He also said those who continued to support the individuals' risk being sanctioned as well. Balkees Jarrah, a senior counsel at Human Rights Watch, in reaction to the sanctions condemned the move.
Jarrah in a tweet on Wednesday, September 2, said America's action is a shameful new low for the country's commitments to justice for victims of the worst crimes
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the United States of America and the ICC are at daggers drawn over a recent move by the judicial body to investigate alleged war crimes reportedly committed by all sides during the prosecution of the war in Afghanistan.
The ICC's decision has angered the Donald Trump administration, which has unleashed both economic and legal offensive against the court.
Among what the US has planned for the court are sanctions for the officials involved in the investigation, visa restrictions on their family members and a counter-investigation into the activities of the ICC by the US.
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In other news, the ICC has reportedly disclosed that it is investigating allegations of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in some clashes in Nigeria.
The cases listed by the ICC include the clash between Nigerian soldiers and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the clash between the Nigerian soldiers and a proscribed separationist group from the southeast, IPOB.
This is covered in the international court's 2019 annual report. The report stated that the potential cases being investigated in Nigeria has increased from eight to 10.
Seven of the 10 cases have to do with the Boko Haram insurgency while the remaining three bordered on Nigerian security agencies.
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