War-Crimes In Afghanistan Should Face Justice

CNN reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned a decision by the International Criminal Court to authorize an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan by US armed forces, the CIA, and the Taliban. “This is a truly breathtaking action by an unaccountable political institution masquerading as a legal body,” Pompeo said Thursday during remarks at the State Department. “It is all the more reckless for this ruling to come just days after the United States signed a historic peace deal on Afghanistan, which is the best chance for peace in a generation.” “The United States is not a party to the ICC, and we will take all necessary measures to protect our citizens from this renegade, so-called court,” he said.

Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda sought authorization in November 2017 to open an investigation into crimes connected to the conflict in Afghanistan. According to a statement from the time, Bensouda’s office “determined that there is a reasonable basis to believe” that members of the Afghan National Security Forces, the US armed forces and the CIA had committed “war crimes,” and that members of the Taliban had committed both war crimes and crimes against humanity. On Thursday, the ICC Appeals Chamber ruled unanimously in favor of allowing the investigation. Bensouda’s initial request for authorization to open the investigation was denied in April 2019. At that time, the three-judge panel “concluded that an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan at this stage would not serve the interests of justice.”

Reported war-damage in Afghanistan is 157,000 precious human lives, out of which 43,000 were civilians. But the actual number of causalities is much more than this. The use of most lethal weapons, advanced tactics, and especially airstrikes has damaged a lot. The explosives used in Afghanistan is much more than the total explosive used in World War I and World War II. The whole country has been turned into barren land. The environment has been damaged, agriculture has been damaged, infrastructure has been damaged, and life has been made more difficult. Due to heavy bombing and shelling, life has been halted. No economic activities, no agriculture, no education, no health care facilities, has indirectly damaged the country to irreversible loss. Due to the direct consequences of violence and the war-induced breakdown of public health, security, and infrastructure. Civilians have been killed by crossfire, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), assassinations, bombings, and night raids into houses of suspected insurgents. Even in the absence of fighting, unexploded ordnance from previous wars and United States cluster bombs continue to kill.

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US Marines of 3rd Recon Battalion, USMC detain a suspected Taliban insurgent during operations in the Washir Valley, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 2009

The war has prolonged for 4 decades, the child born under war clouds was grown up and gave birth to his children. It is 3rd or 4th generation facing war. Are afghan people are people of lesser God???.

Definitely, the International Court of Justice (ICC) has the right to bring to justice who so ever was involved in the war crimes in Afghanistan. No one nation, how strong it may be, is not above law. UN Charter is protecting the rights of weaker nations and who cannot protect their rights, ICC should come forward to set an example, to establish deterrence for the future.

ICC is backed by the EU, the UN, and the whole world, especially smaller nations. Hope, ICC will move forward and go ahead with its mandate and bring to justice all those involved in the war crimes in Afghanistan.

It will open the ways for the trail of war-Crimes committed in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, etc. Estimated few millions were killed in the war on terror in Middle-East, proper investigations may be initiated and all those involved in the killing of humanity may be trailed by ICC.

In the same manner, Israel and India may be trailed for War-Crimes, which they have committed against Palestinians, Kashmiris, and Muslims.

I believe it is time for the US not to condemn ICC, but revise its policies and keep its own house in order.

Reposts are welcomed with the reference to ORIENTAL REVIEW.
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