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Mugabe to pull African Union out of the ICC?

by Lovemore Mataire
06 Feb 2015 at 06:04hrs | Views
African Union (AU) chairman, President Mugabe, has said Africa must pull out of the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICC).

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 24th AU summit that ended in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at  the weekend, President Mugabe said the ICC issue should be on the agenda of the organisation's next meeting in June in South Africa.

"Africa must pull out of the ICC. The pullout must be on June AU summit agenda in South Africa. What the West will say or do is not my business," said President Mugabe.

"My concern is on uplifting the life of our people, giving them something that will raise their standard of living. If Europe comes in the spirit to cooperate and not the spirit to control us and control our ways, they will be very welcome," he said.

His statement was extensively quoted by many media organisations in Ethiopia, Kenya and some parts of the world.

The proposal by President Mugabe came on the heels of another initiative by the AU member-states to establish an African Court of Justice and Human Rights.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta whose case was withdrawn by the ICC also called for the establishment of the proposed African Court of Justice and Human Rights, which he said was fundamental in finding African solutions to African problems.

President Kenyatta has already pledged  $1 million dollars for the new judicial institution that he said was now unstoppable.

While applauding the move by President Mugabe to pull out of the ICC, some analysts have said there was still need to amend the African Court on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR) statute as contained in the Malabo Protocol that should effectively give power to the African court to try international crimes.

International relations and labour law expert Rutendo Mudarikwa, said most people who supported Africa's continued membership of the ICC skirted around telling why the United States, a country that prides itself as a the model of democratic ideals, was not part of the Rome Statutes that gave birth to the judicial institution.

"President Mugabe like all other African leaders are informed by a conscious sense of history to take a stand against ICC's selective application of justice targeting mainly African leaders while completely ignoring the brutality of leaders of European descent," said Ms Mudarikwa.

The ICC effectively came into being on March 11, 2003 as a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

It derives its origins from the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg that tried Nazi war criminals after World War II.

The trials led to the UN proposal for a permanent successor court but the proposal was stalled in the 1950s partly because of the Cold War.
Trinidad and Tobago conference resulted in the United Nations General Assembly convening the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of the Plenipotentiaries on the establishment of an International Criminal Court held in Rome in 1998.

It was this conference that drafted the treaty of the ICC, which received a vote of 120 to 7, with 21 countries abstaining while seven voted against the treaty.

The seven were Iraq, Israel, Libya, China, Qatar, USA and Yemen.

Some critics point to the fact that the treaty was pushed forward by non-governmental organisation activists who "bundled the key elements of the court into a package that became a take it-or-leave it proposal."

Source - chronicle

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