World

International prosecutor urges Nigerian parties to refrain from violence ahead of elections

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has urged all parties in Nigeria's elections later this month to refrain from violence before, during and after the vote.

In a written statement, Fatou Bensouda said Monday she would send a team to Nigeria before the Feb. 14 election to "further engage with the authorities and encourage the prevention of crimes."

Prosecutors at the Hague-based court already are conducting a preliminary probe into alleged war crimes committed by Islamic extremist group Boko Haram and by Nigerian security forces that could lead to a full-blown investigation.

Bensouda says, "Experience has shown that electoral competition, when gone astray, can give rise to violence and in the worst-case scenarios, even trigger the commission of mass crimes that 'shock the conscience of humanity.'"