South Africa embraces Geneva Conventions

Aug. 21, 2012 at 11:49 AM

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- The ICRC took note of a decision by the South African government to incorporate the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols into domestic law.

"The implementation of the Geneva Conventions Act provides South Africa with a legal basis for courts to prosecute individuals accused of committing war crimes, regardless of the nationality of those accused or of the victims and regardless of where the alleged crime may have taken place," the International Committee of the Red Cross stated.

The ICRC and the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation are hosts for a regional seminar on international humanitarian law this week.

South African police fired on striking workers at the Marikana platinum mine following a labor dispute last week. South African President Jacob Zuma called for a period of national mourning. Lawmakers there are expected to debate the issue this week, the BBC reports.

Regional media reports this week said authorities may seek formal charges against some of the 260 miners arrested after the melee. There were no indications that war crimes were committed, however.

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