|This image taken from a video shows armed men smashing a
15th century mosque in Timbuktu on Monday
The first step is a threat by the ICC. The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda has described this destruction as a war crime: “My message to those involved in these criminal acts is clear: stop the destruction of the religious buildings now. This is a war crime which my office has authority to fully investigate”. Her claims may have an impact, but more other concrete steps may be needed to halt this intentional destruction.
The destruction mimics that which took place in 2001 when the Bamiyan Buddhas were destroyed. Extremist groups in Mali are systematically destroying sites. Perhaps urgent action by the ICC, or better yet the United Nations Security Council can halt this systematic destruction.
- Pascal Fletcher, Timbuktu tomb destroyers pulverise Islam’s history, Reuters, July 3, 2012, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/03/uk-mali-crisis-timbuktu-idUSLNE86202G20120703 (last visited Jul 3, 2012).