ICC prosecutor seeking probe into 2008 Russia-Georgia war

ICC prosecutor seeking probe into 2008 Russia-Georgia warThe prosecutor for the world's only permanent war crimes court in Haague Fatou Benbsounda called on Thursday for an inquiry to be opened into alleged abuses during a swift but brutal 2008 conflict between Georgia and Russia, according to Agence France-Presse.

"On the basis of the information available, prosecutor Bensouda has concluded that there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court have been committed in Georgia in the context of the armed conflict of August 2008," the ICC said in a statement, AFP reported.

If the surprise request from prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is accepted, it would be the first such investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) outside of Africa.

The brief five-day war erupted when the two neighbours clashed over the Russian-backed breakaway territory of South Ossetia.

On the night of August 7-8, 2008, Georgia's then Western-backed president Mikheil Saakashvili launched an offensive to reclaim South Ossetia only to see Russian forces sweep into Georgia.

Several hundred people are said to have died, and some 120,000 were displaced in the brief fighting, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
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