The ICC Has Become a Tool For Controlling Africa
Rwandan President Paul Kagame has repeated his harsh criticism of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for what he calls open bias against Africa, saying it has failed to mete out justice in any other part of the world except in Africa.
“The ICC was supposed to address the whole world, but it ended up covering only Africa,” Kagame said on Saturday at a meeting with British-Sudanese telecoms tycoon and philanthropist Mo Ibrahim in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital.
“From the time of its inception, I said there was a fraud basis on which it was set up and how it was going to be used. I told people that this would be a court to try Africans, not people from across the world.
“And I don’t believe I have been proven wrong.”
The permanent court in the Netherlands was established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court treaty in 1998 in order to prosecute and punish individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression.
The ICC is intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore only exercise its jurisdiction when certain conditions are met, such as when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the United Nations Security Council or individual states refer situations to the Court.
To date, all but one of the ICC’s 10 investigations have been in Africa and its five convicted suspects are from Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Mali.
In recent years a number of African countries have threatened or announced plans to withdraw from The Hague-based court over what they call its disproportionate targeting of the continent.
“There are many people across the world who should be tried by the court,” Kagame said.
“Some leaders from African countries who are being tried by the ICC, whatever they are being tried for, have been committed in partnership with other countries, which the ICC don’t try.”
“Kagame believes that there should be a mechanism for victims to seek justice but that is not present with the ICC.