Sunday, January 8, 2012

There’s a hidden hand in Africa’s ICC cases Africa Review 

There’s a hidden hand in Africa’s ICC cases

Supporters of Cote d'Ivoire's ex-president Laurent Gbagbo rally for him in front of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, Netherlands, on December 23, 2011. Photo | AFP |
By ERICK KOMOLOPosted Friday, January 6 2012 at 15:40
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Debate rages over the increasing number of Africans being prosecuted at the International Criminal Court.
The recent ‘‘surrender’’ of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo is the latest in a list of exclusively African cases at The Hague.
Indeed, this has led many in the continent’s leadership to call for total withdrawal from obligations under the Rome Statute.
The African Union has invariably backed these sentiments by calling for non-cooperation and deferment of some indictments, notably that of President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan.
For us in Kenya, these calls are perhaps more relevant, with the ICC’s verdict on whether six Kenyan suspects should stand trial being awaited.
I will not delve into the merits or otherwise of the Kenyan cases here, partly because like many others, I consider myself insufficiently knowledgeable about them.
Yet with predictions that even more Africans may be prosecuted at The Hague, it’s time Africans went into deep introspection.
Human rights violations aren’t exclusive to Africa. A cursory look at the wider Middle East, Chechnya and even Asia reveals a similar pattern.
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