French President Nicholas Sarkozy called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a “murderer” and said he should be sent to the ICC, according to The Washington Post.
This statement comes at a time when the ICC issued its first verdict (guilty) against Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga for using child soldiers.
However, France and other U.N. Security Council members seem to be at a loss of what to do because China and Russia continually block the councils request to the ICC. In order for the ICC to open an investigation in Syria, the U.N. Security Council needs to make a request since Syria did not adopt the Rome Statute, which gives the ICC jurisdiction to open investigations into war crimes against individuals in a country.
In order for the request to be referred, nine of the 15 members need to vote in favor of it. Five of those nine votes must come from the council’s permanent members- China, France, U.K., U.S., and Russia. Efforts so far have been thwarted by Russia and China, who have vetoed U.N. Security Council resolutions. And while China says that the violence in Syria must end, Russia is an unfaltering ally for Syria as it continues sending weapons to al-Assad’s regime.