Opinion: My 2 Cents on why the African Nations leave the ICC or want to!
“A founding signatory of the Rome Statute, on ICC: Yes we should be out of the ICC. ICC is not serious. It is partisan. There are so many people who should have been tried if they were serious. The way to go is to have our own African Criminal Court. Trying to work with ICC was a mistake” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni [at the Second #UGDebate on the 13th February 2016]
As Washington is shocked by the recent events, that the International Criminal Court which is stationed in The Hague and the Netherlands; where they ironically are closing down prisons because of lacks of criminals. The International Community and the African Nations are triggering the Article 127 of the Rome Statute of 1997 to Withdraw from the honourable justice chambers of this so-called earth. There is certain reflections and vivid reasons for why this is happing. And I will try to sort it out, the Westerns and Europeans, even some Americans might be offend, but still carry it and take it for what it is.
“In June 2009, Comoros, Djibouti, and Senegal called on African States Parties to withdraw en mass from the Statute in protest against allegations that the ICC was targeting Africans. This declaration was specifically in reference to Sudanese Pres. Omar al-Bashir’s indictment” (Mbaku, Weber State University).
The ICC is not a pre-historic relic of the European Colonial past, still the actions of is of a seemingly imperialistic affair where the smaller newer nations and less resourceful have been targeted at much higher extent than the ones of more sophisticated countries who are not former colonialized. That is a fact and not NRM fiction. Just a certainty that the further hurt the African sovereign nations that they even has Executives under the microscope for their actions while Tony Blair and George W. Bush walks around like Kings on this earth. It’s not like the powers to be, touches the big-men from there, but around the corner they get taken away quicker than ice-cream on a hot-summer-day.
Not that the men and woman who has been questioned and been under investigations has been involved in crimes and activity against the humanity. They have and many using child-soldiers, used ethnicity to win power and even some killings to the level of genocide.
- A State Party may, by written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the
United Nations, withdraw from this Statute. The withdrawal shall take effect one year after the date of receipt of the notification, unless the notification specifies a later date.
- A State shall not be discharged, by reason of its withdrawal, from the obligations arising from this Statute while it was a Party to the Statute, including any financial obligations which may have accrued. Its withdrawal shall not affect any cooperation with the Court in connection with criminal investigations and proceedings in relation to which the withdrawing State had a duty to cooperate and which were commenced prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective, nor shall it prejudice in any way the continued consideration of any matter which was already under consideration by the Court prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective” (ICC, P: 74, 2011).
“President Pierre Nkurunziza, who critics accuse of human rights abuses, signed a decree late on Tuesday that paves the way for his east African nation’s departure from the court. His decision comes at time when the ICC is conducting a preliminary investigation into politically motivated violence in Burundi in which several hundred people died” (Alionby, 2016).
South Africa withdraws:
“Under the Rome Statute, the 2002 treaty that established the court, countries are obligated to arrest anyone sought by the tribunal. “Legal uncertainty” around the statute blocks South Africa from resolving conflicts through dialogue, including inviting adversaries for visits, Justice Minister Michael Masutha said, and handing over a foreign leader to the court would have amounted to an infringement of South Africa’s sovereignty” (…) “The Rome Statute “is in conflict and inconsistent with” South Africa’s law giving sitting leaders diplomatic immunity, Mr. Masutha said at a news conference on Friday. The question is before the country’s high court” (…) “Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane this week formally notified the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, of South Africa’s intention to withdraw from the international court. Leaving the body would take about a year, during which South Africa would still have to cooperate with the court’s proceedings” (Chan & Marlise, 2016).
This is happening while the ICC has asked for Nations who has signed up for the Rome Statute and the ICC. This has been South Africa, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya. The Non-compliance documents of Djibouti and Uganda has even come in 11th July 2016. The Arrest Warrant on President Omar Al-Bashir we’re set on 4th March 2009. There has gone 7 years has passed and his still roaming around with countries willingly delivering “non-compliance” documentations to the ICC for their non-cooperation towards them.
There are more running cases on the continent… some of them are:
“The ICC Prosecutor has opened cases against 26 individuals in connection with five African countries. Twenty-five of these remain open; the 26th, against Darfur rebel leader Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, was dismissed by judges, though the prosecutor may attempt to submit new evidence in an attempt to re-open it. The cases stem from investigations into violence in Libya, Kenya’s post-election unrest in 2007-2008, rebellion and counter-insurgency in the Darfur region of Sudan, the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency in central Africa, civil conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and a 2002-2003 conflict in the Central African Republic. The Prosecutor is also examining 2010-2011 violence in Côte d’Ivoire, a 2009 military crackdown on opposition supporters in Guinea, and inter-communal violence in central Nigeria, but has not opened formal investigations or opened cases with regard to these situations. Uganda, DRC, CAR, Kenya, Nigeria, and Guinea are states parties to the ICC. Sudan, Libya, and Côte d’Ivoire are not. ICC jurisdiction in Sudan and Libya stems from U.N. Security Council actions, while jurisdiction in Côte d’Ivoire was granted by virtue of a declaration submitted by the Ivorian Government on October 1, 2003, which accepted the jurisdiction of the Court as of September 19, 2002.25 Five suspects—four Congolese nationals and one Rwandan—are currently in ICC custody. The ICC Prosecutor has sought summonses, rather than arrest warrants, in connection with attempted prosecutions of Darfur rebel commanders and of Kenyan suspects. The Prosecutor has not secured any convictions to date” (Congressional Reaserch Service, 2011).
The Kenyan case we’re like the Prosecutor said wasn’t done, but for now there wasn’t able to follow through on evidence and make a case worth living. That is me translating the jurors lingo. The IGAD communique on the 6th April 2016: “The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) joins Kenyans of all walks of life to rejoice the collapse of cases against the Deputy President, H.E. William Samoei Ruto and his co-accused, radio journalist, Joshua Arap Sang at the International Criminal Court in The Hague yesterday” (…) “It would be recalled that IGAD had condemned the way the ICC had handled the Kenyan cases from the beginning. During a press conference held in Nairobi on 22nd March 2011, Amb Mahboub stated clearly IGAD’s position on the deferral request of the ICC cases by Kenya pointing out that the trials would “weaken the country and weaken the region” (IGAD, 06.04.2016).
The Kenyan government President Kenyatta the day before on the 5th April 2016:
“Earlier today, Trial Chamber V (a) of the International Criminal Court acquitted my Deputy President, Honourable William Ruto, and Mr. Joshua Arap Sang. I welcome the aforementioned decision, which reaffirms my strong conviction from the beginning about the innocence of my Deputy President. From the start of this case, I have believed that this case was ill-conceived and never grounded on the proper examination of our experience of 2007/2008 as a nation” (…) “Each and every Kenyan was touched by the tragedy that befell our nation in 2007-2008. Each and every victim of this unfortunate happening matters. Not one of them has been forgotten. Their suffering demanded of us as leadership to seek reconciliation. My Deputy and I campaigned and were elected on a platform to unite and reconcile our motherland. When you entrusted the leadership of the country to our administration, you made us responsible for the healing and reconciliation of our people” (Kenyatta, Uhuru – ‘H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta Statement on ICC verdict on the Ruto and Sang Case’ 05.04.2016).
So with this in mind, the Kenyan Government have been thoroughly investigated by the ICC recently over time since the ICC charged people close connected to the current leadership and government. They even at some point had a case against the Kenyan President Kenyatta, but they let it slide because they got no witness angle on him. The Jubilee has fought back and has done their duty towards Courts. Still the wound of charges, the appearance and the trial has hurt.
The newest ICC cases into Africa is the post-election violence where even the Parliament we’re put on fire. “In the letter of referral to the ICC signed by Gabon’s Justice Minister Denise Mekamne Edzidzie, the government accuses Ping and his supporters of incitement to genocide and crimes against humanity” (…) “It highlights a speech which Ping gave during his electoral campaign, in which he allegedly called on his supporters to “get rid of the cockroaches.” (…) “These words were an incitement to commit the crime of genocide,” the letter says” (France24, 2016). The Gabonese Authorities tries to pin it on the Opposition as the election rigging made the public mad and not just the supporters of Jean Ping. If the ICC uses this opportunity not to pin it on themselves as the Second Generation for life President Bongo!
African Union Letter to the ICC on the 29th January 2014:
So the long-stemming grievances are now coming into effect. The feeling of being targets while others walk scotch-free. The inaccurate acts of being the main ones, even as the violence, genocides and crimes against humanity happen; the leaders don’t want a hanging gallows over their heads. Still, the acts of many current Presidents and their Regimes are using armies like Ethiopia against civilians. If they weren’t a strong ally of the United States, they would have a cherry to pick at the courts. President Museveni fears for place, the same should President Mugabe that never been for the Gukurahundi massacres we’re Zimbabwean Republican Police killed 20,000 people. These are men who fear the ICC and would do what they can to not be touched by their current sins and the ones of old.
Sudan, the country of President Omar Al-Bashir has said this in the recent our about the matter:
“This wise decision is established by the Republic of Burundi on objective grounds that the so-called International Criminal Court has become a tool of pressure and instability in the under-development countries. Further, the opening of investigations against some leaders is a result of pressures exercised by the western force,” the statement cited by the Sudan Tribune said” (Akwei, 2016).
So the country who has the Executive under charges, the other one of late has been forces away from power, but still men who was in charge of their respectable nations President Laurent Gbagbo who have now recently been in trial at ICC:
“On Thursday, Mr. Gbagbo, the former president of Ivory Coast, will go on trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, facing four counts of crimes against humanity stemming from the violence surrounding the 2010 presidential election. He was narrowly defeated in a runoff, but he insisted that he had won and refused to cede power, leading to months of turmoil and the deaths of more than 3,000 people before his arrest in April 2011” (…) “The trial of Mr. Gbagbo is an important challenge for the International Criminal Court. He is the first former president to reach trial at the tribunal, which has been in operation for a decade with a mandate to deal with war crimes and genocide. Also on trial with him will be Charles Blé Goudé, one of Mr. Gbagbo’s militia leaders in the 2011 upheaval, which followed more than a decade of ethnic political violence in Ivory Coast” (Rothschild, 2016).
So with this in mind, he isn’t a guerrilla fighting with child-soldiers like the ones charged by the ICC when coming to Lord Resistance Army and others who has been charged for violations against humanity in the ICC. These being Bosco the Terminator from the Democratic Republic of Congo, also that the former Vice President of Pierre Bemba of the MLC has been charged for his crimes, while his President Joseph Kabila walks free for his sins. This proves the neglect and the handpicked cases of the ICC. Reasons why the African Union and others are claiming so, partly righteous, partly wrong! The key to this, if the ICC want to be serious as an International legal institution… it needs cases and probes into states in Europe, America and Asia; not only War-Lords in Africa. That is just Neo-Colonialism and proves the questionable attributes to the character of the laws and big-man politics of the world. Peace.
Akwei, Ismail – ‘Sudan urges mass African withdrawal from the ICC’ (21.10.2016) link: http://www.africanews.com/2016/10/21/sudan-urges-mass-african-withdrawal-from-the-icc/
Alionby, John – ‘Burundi becomes first nation to quit International Criminal Court’ (19.10.2016) link: https://www.ft.com/content/ce408588-95bf-11e6-a1dc-bdf38d484582
Chan, Sewell & Simons, Marlise – ‘South Africa to Withdraw From International Criminal Court’ (21.10.2016) link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/22/world/africa/south-africa-international-criminal-court.html?_r=0
Congressional Research Service – ‘International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues’ (22.07.2011) link: https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL34665.pdf
France24 – ‘ICC opens preliminary probe into Gabon unrest’ (29.09.2016) link: http://www.france24.com/en/20160929-icc-opens-preliminary-probe-situation-gabon
Mbaku, John Mukum – ‘Africa’s Case Against the ICC’, Weber State University
Rothschild, Saskia de – ‘Trial of Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo Will Test International Criminal Court’ (27.01.2016) link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/28/world/africa/ivory-coast-laurent-gbagbo-hague-trial.html
International Criminal Court – Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (17.07.1998 in force on 01.07.2002) Copyrighted 2011