n African Security Review - Who guards the guards? : The ICC and serious crimes committed by United Nations peacekeepers in Africa : feature

Volume 13, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1024-6029
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In recent years there have been growing reports of UN peacekeepers committing severe crimes against the people they are meant to protect, while on peacekeeping duties. These crimes often take the form of gender-based violence and abuse. This paper examines the nature and extent of the problem, the accountability of the peacekeeping troops, the role and the extent of the involvement of International Criminal Law, and the newly introduced International Criminal Court as well as the role of the national criminal courts. Can the ICC prosecute bad elements among the UN peacekeepers or is this the responsibility of the national criminal court of the peacekeeper concerned? Should the ICC be prosecuting such cases in the first place? How far does the principle of 'complementarity' limit the ICC in its attempts to prosecute those who commit crimes against humanity? In other words, 'Who guards the guards?'.

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