Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ethiopian opposition UD Jalleges killings, abuse by Negasso Gidada its leader | GlobalPost

A leading Ethiopian opposition party said in a report Thursday that scores of its members and supporters had been killed, abused or jailed over the past two years.
"The report has information on human rights violations on members of UDJ, on supporters and other political party members and leaders... in different parts of Ethiopia," said Unity for Democratic Justice (UDJ) leader Negasso Gidada.
Negasso said seven party supporters had been killed in southern Ethiopia and around 150 supporters had faced intimidation, arrest without charge, abuse, abduction and confiscation of property by police and security forces across Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian government said it had not seen a copy of the report, but accused the party of routinely coming up with "concoctions and spurious accusations", Information Minister Redwan Hussein told AFP.
UDJ is among a handful of opposition parties in Ethiopia, where only one out of 547 seats in parliament is occupied by an an opposition member.
Negasso, the former president of Ethiopia, said the report will be submitted to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and that he hopes the document will send a strong message to the government.
"We want the government to stop human rights violations and we are asking the government to bring those people concerned to justice," he said, adding that his party had not lost any strength as a result of the violations documented in the report.
"The intimidation, the threats has not discouraged our members and we will continue our struggle," Negasso said.
Last year, a leading member of the UDJ, Andualem Arage, was sentenced to life in prison on terror-related offenses.
UDJ has staged a series of demonstrations across Ethiopia this year, calling for the release of opposition members and journalists charged under Ethiopia's anti-terrorism legislation.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has issued stark messages to protesters in recent months, warning them that they will face harsh consequences if the break the law.
Rights groups have said the 2009 anti-terrorism law is vague and used to stifle peaceful dissent.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ethiopian political prisoners tortured | GlobalPost


Jailed Ethiopian political activists are tortured and held in appalling conditions, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Friday, in a report dismissed by the government as lies.
Former detainees in the capital's Maekelawi prison describe "being slapped, kicked, and beaten with various objects, including sticks and gun butts, primarily during interrogations", the report said.
Other inmates reported "being held in painful stress positions for hours upon end, hung from the wall by their wrists, often while being beaten," the US-based rights watchdog said, basing the report on interviews with 35 former prisoners.
But Ethiopian authorities said the report was "extremely biased and ideologically marred" and lacked credible evidence.
"They haven't come up with any proof," government spokesman Shimeles Kemal told AFP, adding that prison authorities comply by strict rules ensuring humane treatment of inmates.
"Contrary to international standards of human rights monitoring bodies they did not base their findings on an on-sight investigation."
The report said relatives and lawyers were barred from visiting inmates, and urged authorities not to hold prisoners indefinitely without charge.
"Cutting detainees off from their lawyers and relatives not only heightens the risk of abuse but creates enormous pressure to comply with the investigators' demands," HRW's Leslie Lefkow said, claiming that most of those held in Maekelawi are political prisoners.
HRW has accused Ethiopia of using anti-terrorism legislation to crack down on political dissent, but Shimeles said the law was "perfectly in accord with international standards".
Ethiopian journalist Reeyot Alemu, who is serving five years on terror-related offences, spent the first two months of her sentence at Maekelawi, which her father described as "horrible."
"She was treated badly and was without food for nine days, and she was put in solitary confinement," Alemu Gobebe, told AFP.
Alemu, who is also Reeyot's lawyer, said he was not allowed to see her when she was in Maekelawi, from where she has since been transferred.
"She was in a bad condition, she was terrorised, she was in fear and her body was depleted," said Alemu.
Ethiopia's anti-terrorism legislation, introduced in 2009, has been criticised by HRW and other rights groups for being vague and used to jail political opposition and independent journalists.
Two Swedish journalists also jailed under the law were released in September 2012 after serving 13 months of their sentence.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sudan expresses disappointment in AU summit for shying away from ICC pull out- Sudan Tribune

The Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti has blamed the absence of certain nations from the African Union (AU) extraordinary summit that took place yesterday in Ethiopia, for the failure to call for a mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
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Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta (L) speaks with cabinet secretary for foreign affairs Amina Mohammed (R) and attorney-general Githu Mungai (2-R) at the African Union’s special summit on the ICC (ELIAS ASMARE/AFP/Getty Images)
The two-day meeting which convened on Friday saw the participation of many African leaders including two who were indicted by the ICC namely Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir and Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta.
But unlike Bashir, the Kenyan president along with his deputy William Ruto has so far committed to cooperating with the Hague based court which charged them with crimes against humanity in connection with 2007-2008 Post Elections Violence (PEV).
After Ruto and Kenyatta ascended to the presidency in elections held earlier this year, they lobbied their peers in the continent to support deferring or dropping the cases against them.
Their calls drew sympathy from a continent that appeared to be generally frustrated with a court they perceive to be targeting Africans only.
The ICC has opened investigations into eight cases, all of which are in Africa including Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR), Darfur, Kenya, Libya, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali.
Five of the eight cases were referred voluntarily by the African governments in question; two through a UNSC resolution supported by all but one African member in the council at the time and the Kenyan one was opened at the ICC prosecutor’s request.
The ICC intervened after the Kenyan parliament shot down several attempts to establish a local tribunal in accordance with a power-sharing agreement brokered by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Furthermore, many MP’s said they wanted the cases investigated at the Hague.
Nonetheless, Kenya along with Uganda pushed the AU for a summit to discuss the continent’s relations with the ICC. African officials initially said that an en masse withdrawal of African countries from the ICC will be on the agenda.
But later the proposal appeared to garner the support of few states besides Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda and Ethiopia. The last three are not signatories to the court.
The meeting ended up calling on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to defer the trials of Bashir and Kenyatta under Article 16 of the court’s Rome Statute which allows for a delay of a year subject to renewal.
"If that is not met, what the summit decided is that President (Uhuru) Kenyatta should not appear until the request we have made is actually answered," Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom told journalists in Addis Ababa according to Reuters.
"We have agreed that no charges shall be commenced or continued before any international court or tribunal against any serving head of state or government, or anybody acting or entitled to act in such capacity during his or her term of office," Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said.
But Davis Malombe, deputy executive director of Kenya Human Rights Commission, expressed rejection to the idea of a deferral.
"The AU’s call for a deferral of the cases against Kenya’s President and Deputy President is nothing more than another attempt to derail and delay justice for Kenya’s victims and betrays the AU’s purported commitment to fight impunity," Malombe said.
"Victims have waited for over six years for justice. The UN Security Council has turned down two previous requests and it should do so again if such a request is presented before it" he added.
According to Agence France Presse (AFP), Kenyatta attacked the ICC saying it 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," he said in prepared remarks, accusing the ICC of "bias and race-hunting".
"It is the fact that this court performs on the cue of European and American governments against the sovereignty of African states and peoples that should outrage us," Kenyatta said, urging the AU to unite in the face of a "divide and rule" policy.
"Africa is not a third-rate territory of second-class peoples. We are not a project, or experiment of outsiders," he added.
Sudanese foreign minister said that the meeting saw many calls for withdrawing from the ICC including from his government. He added that some countries while expressing readiness to walk out, said the time was not ripe for such a move.
He said that calls for withdrawal almost succeeded but still requires support by stronger steps, disclosing that this may become a real possibility for African ICC members if the UNSC does not respond positively to AU request for deferral.
Karti disclosed that unspecified states on Friday ministerial meeting adopted stances that "generally weakened" the African position.
"But in my overall assessment the meetings affirmed previous positions on not dealing with the International Criminal Court regarding any head of state" Karti said.
According to Sudan official news agency (SUNA), Ethiopia’s PM hailed Bashir saying he has demonstrated leadership in resolving the Darfur crisis and the outstanding issues with Juba.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Saturday said that African states today "reinforced the importance of the ICC when they didn’t bite on possible withdrawal".
At the same time, calls for immunity of the highest level officials run counter to justice for victims. No one should be above the law when it comes to the gravest crimes" said HRW associate international justice director Elise Keppler.
This week hundreds of rights groups and NGO’s inside and outside Africa criticized the AU meeting saying it aims to provide cover for leaders who commit crimes by floating the idea of mass withdrawal.
“Five African states asked the ICC to investigate crimes committed in their countries – Côte d’Ivoire , Uganda, Central African Republic, Mali, and Democratic Republic of Congo,” said Georges Kapiamba, president of the Congolese Association for Access to Justice. “These states have particular authority and responsibility to dispel claims that the ICC is targeting Africa.”
“This year Nigeria and Ghana both acknowledged the ICC as a crucial court of last resort, and are thus well placed to play a positive leadership role at the summit,” said Chinonye Obiagwu, National Coordinator at Nigeria’s Legal Defense and Assistance Project. “They should actively push back against unprincipled attacks on the court and support the ICC’s ability to operate without interference, including in Kenya.”
The UK-based Amnesty International said that a resolution calling for withdrawal "would be reactionary in the extreme".
“Such a resolution would serve no purpose except to shield from justice, and to give succour to, people suspected of committing some of the worst crimes known to humanity," said says Tawanda Hondora, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of Law and Policy.
“Such a resolution would serve no purpose except to shield from justice, and to give succour to, people suspected of committing some of the worst crimes known to humanity" Hondora added.
But African officials denied that this summit was about encouraging impunity.
"Demanding respect is the least Africa can do, but I also don’t like to see this mistaken for - as we have seen with some of the detractors of this exercise - that Africans are supporting impunity. We don’t," Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told Reuters.
AU executive council head Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, a former anti-apartheid activist, acknowledged that African nations should "do more to strengthen the capacity of our national and continental judicial systems",according to AFP.
A number of African figures including Annan and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have called on African nations to reject the withdrawal bid.
"While some African leaders play both the race and colonial cards, the facts are clear. Far from being a so-called white man’s witch hunt, the I.C.C. could not be more African if it tried. More than 20 African countries helped to found the I.C.C. Of the 108 nations that initially joined the I.C.C., 30 are in Africa. Five of the court’s 18 judges are African, as is its vice president, Sanji Mmasenono Monageng of Botswana. The court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, who has huge power over which cases are brought forward, is from Gambia. The I.C.C. is very clearly an African court," Tutu wrote in an Op-ed published in the New York Times.

AU: ICC cannot prosecute sitting head of state - World Wires -

In this photo released by Kenya's Presidency, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, left, shares a light moment with Deputy President William Ruto, right, shortly before departing to attend the African Union (AU) Heads of State special summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the airport in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. African heads of state and government are meeting at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia to deliberate the continent's relationship with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where the two men face crimes against humanity charges for Kenya's 2007-08 post-election violence in which more than 1,000 people died.
In this photo released by Kenya's Presidency, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, left, shares a light moment with Deputy President William Ruto, right, shortly before departing to attend the African Union (AU) Heads of State special summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the airport in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. African heads of state and government are meeting at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia to deliberate the continent's relationship with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where the two men face crimes against humanity charges for Kenya's 2007-08 post-election violence in which more than 1,000 people died.


The African Union will not allow a sitting head of state to be prosecuted by an international tribunal, the body's chairman said Saturday, in a clear warning it hopes to halt the crimes against humanity trial about to begin in the Hague against Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta.
African countries accuse the International Criminal Court of disproportionately targeting African leaders. The court has indicted only Africans so far, though half of the eight cases it is prosecuting were referred by African governments.
The AU's move was immediately criticized by rights groups, both in Kenya and abroad.
The AU doesn't have the power to prevent a head of state being tried in the Hague, including Kenyatta, who is accused of complicity in ethnic unrest following Kenya's disputed 2007 election, in which over 1,000 people were killed.
But the group plans to contact the United Nations Security Council to ask for Kenyatta's case to be deferred before his trial begins on Nov. 12, said Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the chairman of the AU executive council.
The Security Council has the power to order a one-year deferral, but whether it would is another question. It has never before deferred a case. Ghebreyesus said if it is not granted, the group will ask for a postponement of Kenyatta's trial, and if that is not granted then African leaders have decided Kenyatta should not appear before the court, he said.
The decision at the close of a one-day heads of state summit was unanimous, said Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Both Kenyatta and Sudan President Omar al-Bashir— also wanted by the war crimes tribunal — were in attendance.
Kenyatta, 51, has been in office since April. He is from the Kikuyu ethnic group and is accused of having financed and helped organize the Mungiki, a militia-like organization that was implicated in the worst atrocities against other ethnicities in the wake of the 2007 poll.
The call for a deferral to the case "is nothing more than another attempt to derail and delay justice for Kenya's victims and betrays the AU's purported commitment to fight impunity," said Davis Malombe, deputy executive director of Kenya Human Rights Commission.
The declaration comes as the lawyers appointed to defend Kenyatta at the Netherlands-based tribunal submitted new evidence to the court, claiming that they have recordings proving witnesses testifying against Kenyatta had switched from being defense witnesses "for money."
Counsel Steven Kay, who heads the defense team, also says they have evidence the written statements of five prosecution witnesses were in fact created by a single person.
He called on the court to "permanently halt the proceedings on the basis of an abuse of process as a fair trial is no longer possible."
Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto and broadcaster Joshua Sang also have been charged with crimes against humanity. Their trials, which began last month, continued Friday.
Arriving in the Ethiopian capital before the meeting Kenyatta delivered a fiery speech, portraying the ICC as a vestige of imperialism:
"Even though we were dominated and controlled by imperialists and colonial interests in years gone by, we are now proud, independent and sovereign nations," he said. "More than ever, our destiny is in our hands. Yet at the same time, more than ever, it is imperative for us to be vigilant against the persistent machinations of outsiders who desire to control that destiny."
He went on to thank the African Union for backing him: "As Kenya's President, it gives me a feeling of deep and lasting pride to know that I can count on the African Union to listen and help in trying times. Africa has always stood by our side."
Kenya's parliament last month voted to withdraw from the ICC. The African Union special summit being held this weekend was convened at Kenya's request.
Before the summit political insiders in Kenya's government said that African countries may decide to sever ties with the ICC in solidarity with Kenya.

Read more here:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

African leaders accuse ICC of bias, review ties with court -

By Faith Karimi, CNN
October 12, 2013 -- Updated 0657 GMT (1457 HKT)
  • Some African leaders say the international court unfairly targets the continent
  • Others are pressing for a withdrawal from its jurisdiction
  • Rights group say the court is crucial in ensuring justice for everyone
  • A total of 34 African countries are ICC members
(CNN) -- African Union leaders meet in Ethiopia for a second day Saturday to discuss the continent's relationship with the International Criminal Court amid accusations of bias.
Top officials from the 54-member body gathered in the capital of Addis Ababa to address growing resentment against the court.
Kenya is at the forefront of the criticism as its deputy president undergoes trial for alleged crimes against humanity at the court based in The Hague, Netherlands.
Presidents on trial
Others including Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda have joined in, accusing the court of targeting their leaders.
"African countries form the largest constituency of the Rome Statute and I think all of them have expressed issues that they want addressed at one time or another," said Amina Mohamed, the Kenyan minister for foreign affairs. "The summit will present that opportunity."
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 on the same charges.
Both have denied orchestrating attacks that left more than 1,000 people dead in Kenya after a disputed presidential election six years ago.
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.
Kenya's previous administration reneged on a deal to set up a special tribunal to try suspects in the postelection violence, prompting the international court to step in.
It is the second African nation after Sudan to have a sitting president facing charges at the International Criminal Court.
Accusations of double standards
The court has consistently said it is not a substitute for domestic criminal 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.
"The International Criminal Court's way of operating particularly its unfair treatment of Africa and Africans leaves much to be desired," Tedros Adhanom, Ethiopia's foreign affairs minister, said in a statement. "The search for justice should be pursued in a way that does not impede or jeopardize efforts aimed at promoting lasting peace."
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.
Rights groups: Court ensures justice for all
Rights groups are urging African leaders to support the court, saying it is crucial in ensuring justice for everyone.
"African countries played an active role at the negotiations to establish the court, and 34 African countries -- a majority of African Union members -- are ICC members," Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
"Any withdrawal from the ICC would send the wrong signal about Africa's commitment to protect and promote human rights and to reject impunity."
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.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ethiopia dictaors criticises ICC policy fearing they will be on line

Ethiopia has renewed its allegations that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is only targeting African leaders while ignoring cases in other parts of the world. The Ethiopian Dictators knew that they are next on line on all the crimes they are committing against Ethiopians.
Ethiopia’s ministry of foreign affairs spokes person, Dina Mufti, said on Tuesday said that the ICC’s charges against African leaders are politically motivated rather than about legal issues knowing his role in ethiopian abuse and he is on lineto the bench of ICC.
"Ethiopia would work for Africa to be arbitrated by its own legal institutions", he said
According to the official, the ICC prosecutor’s policy against Africa runs contrary to African Union’s goals that African problems should be solved by Africans.
Although 34 African countries are signatory to the ICC’s Rome Statute, many of the countries are suspicious about the way the ICC handles cases in the continent.
African leaders have been accusing it of inappropriately prosecuting only African leaders.
Many have labeled the ICC as an anti-Africa institution with wider double standards.
The 54-member continental bloc, the African Union (AU) has branded the ICC "racist" for targeting mainly Africans.
AU chairman, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn accused it of being biased and set to hunt Africans.
Kenyan newly elected president Uhuru Kenyatta is the second sitting leader to be charged by the international court after Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir.
In September Kenya became the first country to withdraw from the Rome Statute reflecting Africa’s growing discontent on the ICC.
Worldwide, 122 countries are signatory to the ICC. Ethiopia has not ratified the treaty because she is the main perpetrator of human rights abuse in Africa.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Africa: who is lying about the ICC? -The Observer

Paul Kagame (R) and Yoweri Museveni (C) are some of the critics of the ICC
Debate on the relevance of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has polarized the world and focused attention on its ever-growing list of suspects from Africa.

Critics say The Hague-based court is largely a tool by the West to target leaders of poor countries, while others see the criticism as meant to shield human rights abusers from international justice. As Sulaiman Kakaire writes, the debate is delicately poised.

For over a century the world searched for a permanent court with international jurisdiction to try individuals who committed heinous acts such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
This was because national criminal justice systems were too weak to effectively punish such crimes – within the international criminal law (ICL).
The matter dates back to the Paris Peace Conference, at the end of World War I, and to the concept of universal jurisdiction over international crimes. Unlike national jurisdictions which respect the head of state’s immunity, universal jurisdiction does not waive criminal liability.
“Today a sitting president can face criminal proceedings. You see many leaders stay in office for so long and they commit acts that go unpunished,” says Prof Daniel Ntanda Nsereko, a judge of the ICC.
On July 17, 1998, during the UN General Assembly, 120 states adopted the Rome Statute, which established the ICC. During the UN vote, nearly 30 nations including China, Israel and the US, did not support the treaty.
But it gained popularity after 60 countries ratified it to become binding. Today the court has been ratified by 122 countries, 34 in Africa. Complementing national jurisdictions, the court tries offences such as genocide, which national jurisdictions have failed to handle.
“In order to determine inability in a particular case, the court  shall consider whether, due to a total or substantial collapse or unavailability of its national judicial system, the State is unable to obtain the accused or the necessary evidence and testimony or otherwise unable to carry out its proceedings,” says Article 17 of the Rome Statute.
The court has jurisdiction over the offences if the accused is a national of a state party to the Rome Statute, if the alleged crime took place on the territory of a state party, if a situation is referred to the court by the United Nations Security Council or if a state not party to the statute ‘accepts’ the court’s jurisdiction.
So far, the court has exercised its jurisdiction over eight countries – DR Congo, Uganda, the Central African Republic, Sudan (Darfur), Kenya, Libya, Ivory Coast and Mali.

Developing sentiments

As ICC continues to dispense justice, Africa has started to express discontent with the way it is conducting business. This came to light when the African Union questioned the court’s handling of proceedings against Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto.
The AU argues that the ICC is not respecting the sovereignty of African states. Some African leaders including President Museveni have sold the view that ICC is targeting African leaders. Kenya has sponsored a resolution in its national Assembly to withdraw the country’s subscription to the Rome Statute.
“I think that what we are seeing today is an expression of displeasure,” says Daniel Ruhweza, a lecturer of International Law at Makerere University.
Ruhweza adds: “They (African leaders) feel like it is a tool of Western imperialism because all the cases that have been considered by the court are coming from the African continent.”
However, others think the critics could be speaking out of fear that the court could soon come for them.
“It is true that all cases are from Africa but what is its relationship with the court?” says Justice Nsereko. “Have African states been prevented from exercising their national jurisdiction? And, how do cases reach the court?”
Nsereko points out that Africa forms the biggest block of membership (34) of the court and the cases before it come from African countries since they don’t have capacity to try individuals against international crimes.
“Of the eight cases before the court, four were referred to the court by the affected states (Uganda, DRC, Central African Republic and Mali). While two were referred by the United Nations Security Council (Sudan  and Libya) and two (Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire) were begun by the Prosecutor after the two countries agreed to seek justice through such means. Who is targeting who?” he said last week.
Nsereko adds: “The ICC only comes in where the national courts have failed. It cannot try a case which is before the national courts. Let them try the cases and see whether the ICC will intervene.”

Rwanda's Paul Kagame (L) and Uganda's Museveni (C) say ICC should have respected recovery and reconciliation calls in Kenya

Prof Christopher Mbazira, a lecturer of Public International Law at Makerere University, argues that politics and judicial system are inseparable, a reality that can only be overcome by achieving impartiality. Mbazira further says that the ICC proceedings generally reflect judicial independence.
“The only thing to focus on is selective prosecution. And, I think that African states should engage to change the system from within rather than moving out…It is the African states that started the work of the ICC; so, they should not run away from it,” Mbazira argues.
However, some scholars say public perception is instrumental in assessing the legitimacy of ICC. “What is the effectiveness of the institutions of this court?
You see perception seems to be tilted against its legitimacy and this is why a section feels like it is applying its jurisdiction selectively,” says Kabumba Busingye, a lecturer of International Law at Makerere University.

Legality, legitimacy

Some legal practitioners also query the way the court considers evidence. For instance, John Bosco Kakooza, a Kampala lawyer, says the ICC practice of concealing witnesses’ identity violates the right to fair hearing.
Justice Moses Mukiibi, the head of the International Crimes division of the High court  in Uganda, says section 46 of the Rules of Procedure for the ICC does not specify agencies that have the obligation of providing evidence.
This, he told a seminar last week, has impeded the operations of the court. Yet, whatever its weaknesses, the ICC’s trump card seems to be in the widely-accepted need to fight impunity that is so common in repressive regimes.
“The court  deals with legality, not legitimacy. Legality is about what the law says yet legitimacy is about social acceptance. The court is about providing justice for the minority, not seeking for populism,” says Dr David Donat Cattin, a senior director International Law and Human Rights Programme at the Parliamentarians for Global Action.

What options?

In light of Kenya’s vote to withdraw from the ICC, there is a move by some nations in Africa to do the same.
Besides, the AU is contemplating to extend the jurisdiction of the African Court on People’s and Human Rights as an alternative to the ICC while other leaders including Museveni are pushing for the extension of the jurisdiction of regional courts like the East African Court of Justice.
However, Mbazira is sceptical: “With the legalities aside, who does not know the record of performance of these courts? They are weak, they don’t have capacity. Besides, even when they are to be strengthened, there is no political will and commitment on the part of the African leaders to see them function.”
The ICC, then, finds itself in a difficult situation – doing legal work but facing increasing accusations of illegitimacy by leaders whose domestic legitimacy is contentious but whose hold on power is firm.