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Terrorism & Security

How ICC warrants could change NATO strikes in Libya

NATO airstrikes today hit two government buildings in Tripoli, including the Interior Ministry.

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James Lindsay, senior vice president at the Council on Foreign Relations, is one of many arguing that the ICC warrants will make Qaddafi more obstinate. Critics also say the warrants remove an enticing carrot that diplomats could extend to Qaddafi in an effort to get him to step down: exile with immunity.

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… Given that al-Bashir continues to flout his ICC indictment, Gadhafi probably isn’t worrying that Interpol will swoop in and read him his Miranda rights.

That does not mean a warrant for Gadhafi’s arrest would be without consequence. It would give him additional reason to dig in his heels. With the threat of arrest and trial in The Hague hanging over his head, he knows he will not have the option given dictators of old – going into exile to Paris (Baby Doc Duvalier) or retreat to Saudi Arabi (Idi Amin).

Meanwhile, Russia, which abstained from the United Nations Security Council vote on foreign intervention in Libya and has since publicly criticized intervention, is hosting envoys of Qaddafi's government in Moscow on Tuesday and plans to host representatives of the rebel government soon. A Russian official said the goal is to bring an "end to the bloodshed" in Libya, Bloomberg reported. However, Libya's rebels appear ambivalent about Russia's peacemaking efforts.

“There is no Russian initiative,” said Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, the vice president of the rebel government, according to Bloomberg. “If we think of going to Russia, it will be to explain the situation and to change the Russian position regarding the Feb. 17 revolution.”

After today's NATO strikes, the Libyan government accused NATO of targeting the building because it held files related to corruption trials against Libyan rebel leaders, whose international support is growing. But the regime also repeated its offer of a cease-fire and said it likely will release four journalists being held in Tripoli soon, possibly as early as this afternoon, the AP reported.

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