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ICC To Resume War Crimes Probe In Afghanistan

The ICC's chief prosecutor, Karim Khan (file photo)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has authorized its chief prosecutor to resume its investigation into possible atrocities committed in Afghanistan.

The original investigation was halted in early 2020 when the Western-backed administration asked to do its own probe, but the ICC said in a statement on October 31 that the current Taliban rulers, who took over as international forces left the country at the end of August 2021, show "no interest" in carrying out an investigation.

"The judges considered that Afghanistan is not presently carrying out genuine investigations in a manner that would justify a deferral of the Court’s investigations and that Afghanistan authorities are not showing an interest to pursue the deferral request it submitted on 26 March 2020," the ICC said in the statement.

In 2020, ICC judges authorized a full-blown investigation into whether war crimes were committed in Afghanistan by the Taliban, the Afghan military, and U.S. forces in the war-torn country.

That prompted the United States, which has never joined the ICC, to impose sanctions on former ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

Current chief prosecutor Karim Khan said last year that he was omitting the United States from the probe as the "worst crimes" were committed by the Taliban and the Islamic State extremist group. Rights groups have criticized the decision.

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