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Desmond Tutu: Bush and Blair should 'Answer for their actions'

In an op-ed piece Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu wrote that former President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair should be prosecuted for their role in the war in Iraq. Tutu said the war in Iraq had destabilized and polarized the world.

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his part in fighting apartheid, speaks during a felicitation event for him in Dharmsala, India, in February. Tutu in an op-ed piece in the Observer Sunday, has called for Tony Blair and George Bush to be hauled before an international criminal court and delivered a damning critique of the physical and moral devastation caused by the Iraq war.

Ashwini Bhatia/AP/File

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Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu called Sunday for Tony Blair and George Bush to face prosecution at the International Criminal Court for their role in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq

Tutu, the retired Anglican Church's archbishop of South Africa, wrote in an op-ed piece for The Observer newspaper that the ex-leaders of Britain and the United States should be made to "answer for their actions."

The Iraq war "has destabilized and polarized the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history," wrote Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel prize in 1984.

"Those responsible for this suffering and loss of life should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who have been made to answer for their actions in the Hague," he added.

The Hague, Netherlands, based court is the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal and has been in operation for 10 years. So far it has launched prosecutions only in Africa, including in Sudan, Congo, Libya and Ivory Coast.

Tutu has long been a staunch critic of the Iraq war, while others opposed to the conflict — including playwright Harold Pinter — have previously called for Bush and Blair to face prosecution at the Hague.

"The then-leaders of the U.S. and U.K. fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart. They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand — with the specter of Syria and Iran before us," said Tutu, who last week withdrew from a conference in South Africa due to Blair's presence at the event.

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