AU reviews Africa’s relationship with ICC

THE Executive Council of the African Union (AU) on Friday began deliberations on Africa’s relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC), following alleged victimisation and selective justice against some African leaders.
Opening the 15th Extraordinary session the Council in Addis Ababa, Its Chairman and Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister, Tedros Adhanom, said the body was concerned about ICC’s failure to follow ‘certain laid down procedures in the application of justice on some African countries and Africans”.
He stated that this was in spite of various efforts implored by the AU to encourage the ICC to address the alleged victimisation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the ICC is currently investigating eight situations in Africa including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, the Central African Republic, Sudan, the Republic of Kenya, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriyya, the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and Mali.
Available statistics on the ICC cases in Africa show that the Court’s Pre-Trial Chambers have 32 Africans, while it had issued arrest warrants for 23 individuals and summonses to nine others including the Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.
Also, five persons are in detention, five still at large, four arrested, four in pre-trial while proceedings was going on against 24 others.
The ICC is also trying Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy, William Ruto; over alleged complicity in the country’s 2007 to 2008 post-election violence that killed more than 1,000 people.
Their trial had sparked criticism by the AU Member States during their 21st Ordinary session in May.
NAN reports that, while the trial of Ruto had begun at The Hague, Kenyatta’s case is scheduled to open on Nov.ember 12 at the ICC.
The minister said the Union was disappointed with the manner in which the court had been operating, saying its actions were “far from promoting justice and reconciliation as well as contributing to the advancement of peace and stability on our continent.
“The Court has transformed itself into a political instrument targeting Africa and Africans, which is totally unacceptable and that is why we have been expressing our serious concerns against the ICC”.
Adhanom urged members of the council to resolve on the position and the direction Africa would go considering its strength with 34 countries as members of the ICC.
The Council is expected to adopt a common position on Saturday, October 12, in Addis Ababa.