African Union Accuses ICC of Bias, Seeks Delay of Cases Against Sitting Leaders

Faith Karimi, CNN, October 12, 2013

The African Union urged the International Criminal Court to postpone cases against sitting leaders as accusations of unfair treatment grow against the war crimes tribunal.

Leaders from the 54-nation body gathered in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Saturday to review their relationship with the court based in The Hague, Netherlands.

Kenyan and Sudanese presidents face charges at the court, and African leaders have long accused it of unfair treatment.

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“Sitting heads of state and government should not be prosecuted while in office and we have resolved to speak with one voice to make sure that our concerns are heard loud and clear,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Ethiopian foreign affairs minister.

The trial for Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto is under way while his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, is scheduled to appear in court next month.

Both are on trial for alleged crimes against humanity linked to postelection violence six years ago. They deny the charges.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has largely shunned an ICC warrant for his arrest for alleged war crimes.

“We are deeply troubled by the fact that a sitting head of state and his deputy are for the first time being tried in an international court, which infringes on the sovereignty of Kenya and undermines . . . the country’s reconciliation and reform process,” Ghebreyesus said.

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The International Criminal Court was set up in 2002 to prosecute claims of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Rights groups say the court is crucial in ending impunity in African politics.

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Kenya’s previous administration reneged on a deal to set up a special tribunal to try suspects in the postelection violence that left more than 1,000 people dead, prompting the international court to step in.

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The court has consistently said it is not a substitute for domestic justice systems, and only intervenes if the national judicial system is either unwilling or unable to carry out justice.

But some leaders have accused it of double standards, with the Ethiopian foreign minister saying it is jeopardizing peace efforts.

“The International Criminal Court’s way of operating particularly its unfair treatment of Africa and Africans leaves much to be desired,” he said.

So far, all cases before the court are against Africans in eight countries, including Ivory Coast , Uganda, Sudan and Mali.

Some of the cases were handed over by their respective African governments, including Ivory Coast; others were referred to the court by the U.N. Security Council.

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The Kenyan parliament voted in September to withdraw from the court’s jurisdiction after repeatedly calling on it to drop the cases.

A withdrawal would take a while to implement because it involves steps such as a formal notification to the United Nations.

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  • Spartacus

    “So far, all cases before the court are against Africans in eight countries, including Ivory Coast , Uganda, Sudan and Mali.”

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    This is clearly racism against White people . If the ICC were actually objective, they’d be hanging most of Europe’s leaders in the last 30 years or so .

  • Oil Can Harry

    No surprise to see blacks shamelessly play the race card.
    Still, i’d prefer to see the ICC abolished due to its potential for tyranny.

    • It wouldn’t matter if the ICC was abolished. Crimes against humanity carry universal jurisdiction. This means that any nation can try these goons, even in absentia, and under their own laws. I regard this as somewhat arrogant, but this behavior would quickly end if someone set off hydrogen bombs in the capitol cities of nations that do this. The nuclear option ought never to be discounted. The US embassy hostages were released as soon as Ronald Reagan took office in 1981 because the Iranians knew he would do it. There was no point to their continuing to humiliate Jimmy Carter for an extra two months after he had lost the 1980 election, but Reagan would have really done it. Nobody picks a maniac like Al Haig as Secretary of State just by accident.

  • Franklin_Ryckaert

    Perhaps in this case the Africans are not entirely wrong. Why have such leaders as Bush and Blair never been prosecuted? And I could name a lot more!

  • Sick of it

    So they aren’t trying Mugabe? He deserves to be put away for crimes against humanity more than the rest.

  • Rhialto

    Exactly, the New World Order is setting precedents for (they hope)future operations in Western nations.

  • Let them come. These lawyers do this to make a living, and nobody gets killed for a living. I post under my own complete name as a challenge. Part of my FBI file says I actually followed an agent home from work after it had threatened me with extra-judicial punishment. I will neither confirm nor deny this allegation.

    Since nobody is willing to be killed for a living, these critters won’t go after the high-hanging fruit.

  • This is what I think of when I saw last year this sudden white leftist urge to march boots into Africa and capture Kony 2012 2013. I mean, c’mon, he’s 50-something, probably, an old washed-out leader of a group that was really nothing more than an enhanced street gang. Any of us suggest that we should use half the the level of force the libs want to use to capture Kony 2012 2013 to go after black American street gangs, those same libs will be whining racism to high hell.

    Black African “armies,” “rebel groups,” “militias,” etc. are what black American street gangs would become if they didn’t face the constant check of the white man’s police and courts and prisons.

  • Alexandra1973

    I agree. Let them do what they want within their own borders. I believe in national sovereignty.

    (I know, it’s something of a joke over there…but still….)