ICC - Mali becomes first African state to sign an agreement on the enforcement of sentences with the ICC

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Judge Fatoumata Dembele Diarra, First Vice-President of the International Criminal Court (L) after signing the agreement © ICC-CPI


On Friday, 13 January 2012, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Republic of Mali concluded an agreement on the enforcement of sentences of imprisonment. The agreement was signed by Judge Fatoumata Dembele Diarra, First Vice-President of the ICC, and Mr Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Mali, in the nation’s capital, Bamako. Mali is the first state in Africa to conclude such an agreement with the ICC.

“The enforcement of sentences is a crucial element of a well-functioning justice system, and the ICC is grateful to every State Party that expresses its willingness to accept persons convicted by the Court”, Judge Diarra remarked. “This agreement with Mali – the first to be signed by an African State – is particularly significant considering the principle enshrined in the Statute and Rules of the ICC that States Parties should share the responsibility for enforcing sentences of imprisonment, in accordance with principles of equitable geographical distribution.”

Minister Maiga expressed Mali’s firm commitment to the ICC, saying: “Through this ceremony, Mali wishes to reaffirm its unfailing commitment to human rights and the ideals of international peace and justice on which the ICC was founded. Signing this agreement is an ideal means of conveying Mali’s determination to honour the commitments it made by signing and ratifying the Rome Statute.

Furthermore, this is a modest, symbolic contribution from Mali to assist the Court in best serving its mandate, in particular in the fight against impunity for international crimes the world over.”

The Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC, provides that sentences handed down by judges “shall be served in a State designated by the Court from a list of States which have indicated to the Court their willingness to accept sentenced persons”.

In addition to the agreement with Mali, the ICC has signed agreements on the enforcement of sentences with the governments of Austria, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Serbia and Colombia.

The ICC is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, namely war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of the Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected].

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