Cape Verde became the 119th nation to ratify the Rome Statute, the founding document of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC is based in The Hague, Netherlands. The nations that have ratified the treaty have allowed the ICC to investigate claims of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide occurring within their territory, or by their citizens when national authorities cannot or will not pursue charges.
The United Nations Security Council may also refer cases to the ICC, as it has in Darfur, Sudan, and in Libya. The President of Sudan, Omar Al-Bashir has been indicted by the ICC. He was the first head of state to be indicted by an international tribunal. Muammar Qadaffi, president of Libya was also indicted by the court, but was killed by rebels.
The nations who have signed on to the treaty, called the Association of State’s Parties, control the rules of procedure and fund the court. China, the United States, Sudan, and Russia, are among the nations which have not signed on to the treaty.