ICC Accused of Race Hunting in Africa

28 May

ICC in brief

  • Set up in 2002
  • Based in The Hague, the Netherlands
  • Deals with genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression
  • Court has been ratified by 121 countries, including 34 in Africa
  • Chief Prosecutor is Fatou Bensouda, a Gambian
  • Democratic Republic of Congo militia leader Thomas Lubanga is the only person to be convicted so far
  • Investigating cases in Uganda, DR Congo, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Kenya, Libya and Ivory Coast

The African Union is accusing the International Criminal Court (ICC) of targeting Africans on the basis of race for global crimes against humanity.

There is concern that Africans are being tried at a higher rate for crimes because of skin color than other human rights violators around the world. AU Chairman and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn concluded at the end of a two-day summit Monday that several African leaders agree that the ICC process in Africa was flawed.

“The intention was to avoid any kind of impunity… but now the process has degenerated to some kind of race hunting,” he said.

A recent resolution urged the ICC to stop the upcoming trials against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Vice President William Ruto. Kenyatta and Ruto will be tried in July for allegedly sparking violence after the highly disputed 2007 elections.

Screen-Shot-2013-05-28-at-8.11.50-AMKenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta won elections in March

Many African leaders see the trials as unfair and are in agreement on the ICC issue. The African Union supported the charge that the ICC unfairly targeted Africans and ignored war crime suspects in other countries, claiming that of the individuals indicted, “99% are Africans”.

The ICC claims that it is not targeting Africa for ware crimes and that African countries themselves referred four of the eight cases currently under investigation by the organization. ICC spokesman Fadi El Abdallah said that the court does not plan to react to the AU resolution.

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