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Africa

Kadhafi used rape as weapon of war, Moreno-Ocampo claims

media International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo Reuters

Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi ordered mass rapes and gave troops Viagra-type drugs to encourage sex attacks, International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo claimed Wednesday.

The chief prosecutor may ask for a new charge of mass rape to be made against Kadhafi, he said.

Moreno-Ocampo is expecting a decision soon from judges on his request for charges of crimes against humanity to be laid against the Libyan leader, his son Seif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanussi.

THE BATTLE FOR LIBYA

There are reports of hundreds of women being attacked in some areas of Libya, Moreno-Ocampo said. He claimed Kadhafi’s forces were buying containers of "Viagra-type" medicines “to enhance the possibility to rape women".

Kadhafi's regime had not previously been known for using rape as a weapon against political opponents and Moreno-Ocampo said he had to find evidence that the Libyan leader had given the order.

In March, Libyan woman, Iman al-Obeidi, made international headlines when she entered a Tripoli hotel and said she had been raped by Kadhafi troops. After escaping to Qatar she was deported to rebel-held Libya and is now resting at a refugee centre in Romania.

The Libyan government does not recognise the international court's jurisdiction.

Other developments include:

  • Loud explosions were heard in Tripoli late Wednesday, regime spokesperson Mussa Ibrahim claimed Nato dropped more thatn 60 bombs on the capital, killing 31 people and causing dozens of injuries;
  • Up to 3,000 Kadhafi troops attacked the third-largest city, Misrata, from the south, west and east, rebels said, killing 12 people and wounding 33;
  • Two dozen countries are represented in at talks on Libya in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday after Nato extended its operation for 90 days;
  • US Defence Secretary Robert Gates pressed Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands to take part in air strikes and Germany and Poland to join the military operations at a Nato meeting Wednesday, with US military chief Admiral Michael Mullen admitted that the campaign was making “very slow progress”;
  • China said it would welcome a visit from representatives of the rebel National Transitional Council “in the near future”, with officials describing the situation as “untenable” and calling for a ceasefire.
     

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