Don't Miss

African Union backs mass withdrawal from ICC

By on February 2, 2017

African leaders have adopted a strategy calling for a collective withdrawal from the international criminal court (ICC). The AU took the decision on Tuesday following a divisive debate at its annual heads of state of summit in Addis Ababa.
Some of African leadrs say the Court has focused too narrowly on Africa while pursuing cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Late last year, South Africa, Burundi and the Gambia all announced plans to leave the court, leading to concerns that other states would follow.

Some African countries have been especially critical of the ICC for pursuing heads of state. Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir has been wanted by the court since 2009 for allegedly orchestrating atrocities in Darfur. The ICC also caused an uproar among some African nations by indicting Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta on charges of crimes against humanity for 2007 post-election violence in which more than 1,000 died. The case collapsed because of what the ICC prosecutor called lack of cooperation by Kenya’s government.

South Africa and Burundi have already decided to withdraw, accusing the ICC of undermining their sovereignty and unfairly targeting Africans.

The ICC denies the allegation, insisting it is pursuing justice for victims of war crimes in Africa.

Elise Keppler with Human Rights Watch’s international justice programme said the ICC withdrawal strategy has no timeline and “few concrete recommendations for action”. She pointed out that several African countries, including Nigeria, Senegal and the Republic of Congo, have spoken up in support of the ICC in recent months.

A draft of the strategy, obtained by the Associated Press, recommends that African countries strengthen their own judicial mechanisms and expand the jurisdiction of the African court of justice and human rights “in order to reduce the deference to the ICC”.

About AfricaTimes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.