Sarkozy: Assad Is a Killer, Must Face World Court
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday that Syria’s leader is acting like a murderer and should be sent to the International Criminal Court.
With diplomatic efforts to end the bloodshed in Syria faltering, the French leader urged humanitarian corridors to allow refugees out and aid in to the country.
“We must obtain humanitarian corridors, and for that we must unblock the Russian veto and Chinese veto” at the U.N. Security Council, Sarkozy told Europe-1 radio.
U.N. Security Council members are meeting to decide what to do next to try to stop the violence.
“The French army can in no way intervene” in Syria without U.N. backing, Sarkozy said. France, Syria’s former colonial ruler, was a leading player in the U.N.-mandated, NATO-led airstrike campaign in Libya.
Sarkozy reached out to both Assad and Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi earlier in his tenure to try get them to cooperate with the international community. But after both leaders responded to uprisings last year with military repression of protesters, Sarkozy abandoned his support for them.
The U.N. estimates that more than 7,500 people have been killed since the anti-Assad struggle started a year ago inspired by Arab Spring uprisings elsewhere. As Assad’s forces used deadly force to stop the unrest, protests spread and some Syrians took up arms.
Assad “is today behaving like a murderer and will have to answer for himself at the International Criminal Court,” Sarkozy said.