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African Union Takes Stand Against European-Based International Criminal Court

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African leaders on Saturday called for a halt to the International Criminal Court’s prosecution of the presidents of Kenya and Sudan, amid complaints that the court has only ever pursued Africans.

An African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, discussed Africa’s relations with the court, which has convicted just one man, a Congolese warlord, and has charged only Africans, according to the Toronto Star.

African Union officials said the U.N. Security Council should defer the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta under Article 16 of the court’s Rome statute, which allows for an initial delay of a year, or they would seek an alternative means of postponement.

“If that is not met, what the summit decided is that President Kenyatta should not appear until the request we have made is actually answered,” Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom told journalists in Addis Ababa after the meeting.

Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, have been accused of orchestrating large-scale violence after a disputed 2007 election, charges they deny. Kenyatta’s trial is due to start on Nov. 12, while Ruto’s began last month.

The African Union’s stance challenges the Hague-based court in its most high-profile case to date – its first trial of a sitting president.

Without an agreed legal delay in court proceedings, any decision by Kenyatta not to attend could prompt an arrest warrant, a step Western nations have wanted to avoid as it would complicate already tricky relations with a regional ally.

ICC a Toy of Declining Imperial Powers

According to Capital FM Kenya,  Kenyatta has presented a case for a mass walkout from the Rome statute, saying the global court has become a toy of imperial Western powers.

Addressing fellow heads of state Saturday, President Kenyatta said powerful Western countries – which were themselves not party to the statute – had turned the court to a tool for manipulation and neo-colonialism of African states.

“The ICC has been reduced into a painfully farcical pantomime, a travesty that adds insult to the injury of victims. It stopped being the home of justice the day it became the toy of declining imperial powers,” said Kenyatta.

He added that the ICC had become contemptuous of the African Union, citing the numerous applications by the continental body, which have not won favor with the court.

“When a civil society organization wrote a letter bearing sensational and prejudicial fabrications, the court took urgent and substantial decisions based on it.

“Before the ICC, African sovereign nations’ resolutions are nothing compared with the opinions of civil society activists.

“The AU is the bastion of African sovereignty, and the vanguard of our unity. Yet the ICC deems it altogether unworthy of the minutest consideration,” said Kenyatta said.

He called on the African leaders at the summit to make a strong statement to the world about their displeasure with the ICC.

“Africa is not a third-rate territory of second-class peoples. We are not a project, or experiment of outsiders,” he said.

“We want to see the ICC as fair and even-handed throughout the world, but what can we do when everyone but Africa is exempt from accountability?”

What people are saying

5 thoughts on “African Union Takes Stand Against European-Based International Criminal Court

  1. Without check ,African leaders will remained dominating,greedy,and above all oppressive to its race

  2. Why are you saying that? African leaders are evolving away from puppets of the west, it is past time, Africa is on the move, away from European and US controlling its leaders. We need move Robert Magbes.

  3. The truth maybe bitter–our rulers not leaders are oppressive–as to the western world,the people has more to say than the other way round –How do you judge Ex-Liberia president Charles.T?with his greed and atrocities ?

  4. Omoregie John Yes, and Charles Taylor, I do not know the background on Charles Taylor's time, but if the west was against him, I need to do some research. Again African leaders are getting better, once they are not controlled by the west, we can move on to handle our own business, as Patrice Lumumba, of DR of Congo, so eloquently said. You appear to think we will stay this way forever, nothing stays the same. It seems only in America too many blacks still think they are in slavery. You said, without check African leaders will remain dominating, they are control by the west. But the people will rise up and reject the people put in office by the west, like in Zimbabwe, they do not control Mugabe. Everytime they put a leader in office not control by the west, they kill them, or they die mysteriously, that is what happen to Lumumba, they killed him, then exhumed his body, dissolved his body in acid, the only thing that remained was his belt buckle, and a tooth. They reburied him, all this to show the people, if you do not put our leader in office, this is going to happen to them as well, and of course, it was a lesson for all the people who would get in office by the people, and not the west. Two American presidents helped in having Lumumba assassinated.

  5. That the whole truth we must see that fairness prevails in the ICC.

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