25.8 C
Abuja
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Forgotten European atrocities in Africa: Peek into abuses and man’s inhumanity to man

This story was done exactly two years ago, it generated quite a lot of feedbacks including a charge one from Shadrack Mandela which stated thus: 'less...

Bill Gates confident coronavirus vaccine will work in Africa, but Africans on Twitter not having it

Talks to have a potential vaccine for Covid-19 tested in Africa, because the number of infected people is not as high as other countries...

Africa’s low coronavirus rate puzzles health experts

Whether it's a matter of faulty detection, climatic factors or simple fluke, the remarkably low rate of coronavirus infection in African countries, with their...

Crime against Congo: Cases against King Leopold II and Belgium

The intriguing thing about the entrance of King Leopold II into Africa is that it was not with any force or coercion; rather, his...

Open letter to Mrs Seinye Lulu-Briggs: Release High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs body for burial

Dear Ma, I hope this letter meets you in good health.It is with deep sense of respect that I have chosen to write to you...

History Special: Queen Amina, a warrior among men

In many climes in Africa, women have had to struggle to rise above the perking order of patriarchal expectations.They were highly accepted among men...

Malian rebel accused of Timbuktu war crimes refuses to enter plea

Mali Islamist rebel leader accused of masterminding the “persecution” of Timbuktu residents and the destruction of the city’s holy grounds refused to enter a plea Tuesday as his lawyers argued he was not mentally fit to stand trial.

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court, which opened the trial on Tuesday, say the Ansar Dine Islamist group that Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz belonged to controlled every aspect of public life in Timbuktu after seizing part of the north of Mali in 2012 along with Tuareg separatists.

Timbuktu’s inhabitants were “belittled, humiliated and assaulted, subject to a veritable persecution on religious and gender grounds to which they saw no end and in which Al Hassan, the acting embodiment of the Islamic police, played a leading role”, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told judges.

As well as trying to impose sharia Islamic law across divided Mali, the al Qaeda-linked fighters used pick-axes, shovels and hammers to shatter earthen tombs and centuries-old shrines reflecting the local Sufi version of Islam in what is known as the “City of 333 Saints”.

This kind of Sufi worship was anathema to Islamists like the Ansar Dine fighters who adhere to a puritanical branch of Sunni Islam.

The attacks, which drew international condemnation, were an echo of the 2001 dynamiting by the Taliban of two 6th-century statues of Buddha carved into a cliff in Bamiyan in Afghanistan.

The ICC, the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal, has been examining events in Mali since 2012. French and Malian troops pushed the rebels back the following year.

Al Hassan faces 13 charges for rape, torture, sexual slavery and directing attacks against religious and historical buildings.

According to his defence team, restrictions related to the coronavirus outbreak meant they had not been able to see their client in person for four months. He has been held in ICC custody since March 2018.

When they finally did this month they were “alarmed” at his state and cited a defence health expert report that Al Hassan was “experiencing disassociation” due to post-traumatic stress from “severe maltreatment” he suffered earlier while in jail in Mali before his transfer to The Hague.

While the judges ordered a medical examination of Al Hassan to determine his fitness to stand trial, they also ruled they would not delay the hearing.

Al Hassan was asked to enter a plea to each of the charges but refused, telling judges 13 times: “I cannot answer that question.”

He is the second suspect from Mali to appear before the ICC over crimes suspected to have been committed by Ansar Dine. Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi pleaded guilty to the destruction of cultural heritage for his part in smashing the mausoleums. He was sentenced to nine years in 2017 after apologising for his actions.

- Advertisement -

Latest Posts

Condemnation trail Somalia new bill seeking to allow child and forced marriage

Somalia’s parliament has sparked outrage by replacing long-awaited legislation to protect women and girls from violence with a new bill permitting child and forced...

Malians back on the street renew call for president to resign

Thousands of people took to the streets of Mali’s rainy capital Bamako on Tuesday renewing calls for President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to step down...

Three persons handed 30 years jail term for throwing stone at president’s convoy

Three people have been sentenced to 30 years in prison in Burundi after being accused of throwing stones at the president’s convoy. The sentence...

Scores killed as South Sudan’s disarmament program erupts in violence

At least 81 people have been killed in the South Sudan region of Warrap State following heavy fighting between armed civilians and government forces...

Don't Miss

Condemnation trail Somalia new bill seeking to allow child and forced marriage

Somalia’s parliament has sparked outrage by replacing long-awaited legislation to protect women and girls from violence with a new bill permitting child and forced...

Malians back on the street renew call for president to resign

Thousands of people took to the streets of Mali’s rainy capital Bamako on Tuesday renewing calls for President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to step down...

Three persons handed 30 years jail term for throwing stone at president’s convoy

Three people have been sentenced to 30 years in prison in Burundi after being accused of throwing stones at the president’s convoy. The sentence...

Scores killed as South Sudan’s disarmament program erupts in violence

At least 81 people have been killed in the South Sudan region of Warrap State following heavy fighting between armed civilians and government forces...

France to step up security for her citizens in the Sahel region

France will step up security measures to protect French nationals in Africa’s Sahel region, President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday, two days after six...

Angola’s Isabel dos Santos steps down from Unitel

Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos will leave her job in the administration of telecoms operator Unitel amid ongoing tensions between board members, Portugal’s news...

Ethiopia officials say at least 10 died in protests over autonomy

At least 10 people died in clashes between protesters and security forces in Ethiopia’s southern region on Monday, health officials said, the latest violence...

Group of Zimbabwe white farmers rejects govt’s $3.5b compensation plan as unfair

An organisation in Zimbabwe, for the White farmers disposed of their land during government's land reform process has dismissed a recent US$3.5B compensation fund...

Gunmen on motorbike kill 6 French aid workers, their driver and guide in Niger

Gunmen ridding on motorcycles intercepted and killed six French aid workers, their Nigerien guide and driver in a wildlife park in Niger on Sunday,...

Military base in Somali capital rocked by bomb blast, at least 8 dead

A huge blast rocked a military base in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu near a stadium on Saturday, killing at least eight people and injuring 14,...
%d bloggers like this: