Biden to reverse Trump ICC sanctions despite continuing differences on Palestine, Afghanistan
The ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, and Phakiso Mochochoko, another high-level figure who assisted in the tribunal’s creation were subjected to financial and visa restrictions by Trump last year.
Although an unnamed source stressed to Foreign Policy that an official decision is yet to revealed, insiders told the magazine the reversal could be put into action next or even this week.
While the inquiry's scope includes the US military, it also covers the activities of other international forces, plus those of the Taliban and Afghan government forces.
Earlier this year, over 80 organisations, including NGOs religious associations, and other institutions signed a letter condemning the US sanctions.
The letter called them “an unprecedented attack on the court’s mandate to deliver justice and the rule of law globally.”
The Trump administration was likewise angered at attempts by the tribunal to investigate Israel over potential crimes against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
With just over a week to go, The Jerusalem Post says that Israel has yet to agree its response.
The Palestinian Authority received similar correspondence regarding investigations of potential Palestinian violations of international law as part of the same probe.
Ending sanctions against ICC officials would be a significant softening of Washington’s tone surrounding the tribunal.
Nevertheless, the Biden administration, like its predecessor, still rejects the ICC’s jurisdiction over US and Israeli activities in Afghanistan and Palestine.
It only accepts the Hague-based court’s jurisdiction when the countries being investigated have recognised it, or when the tribunal is told to intervene by the United Nations Security Council.
Neither the United States nor Israel has recognised the court by ratifying the Rome Statute.
However, the ICC does not deem recognition necessary, maintaining that it just needs approval from the country where the alleged atrocities have occurred.