Title: An African Stampede Out of the International Criminal Court?
Post by: News on October 26, 2016, 01:30:39 PM
By Glen Ford
October 26, 2016 - blackagendareport.com (http://blackagendareport.com/south_africa_leaves_icc)
“Of the six cases that are currently, or soon to be, on the docket of the ICC, all involve indictments against Africans.”
After 14 years, the neocolonial judicial farce of an International Criminal Court may be unraveling. South Africa has joined Burundi in serving notice that it is starting the process of withdrawing from the ICC. The decision by President Jacob Zuma’s government has caused panic in the West, which fears it might touch off a mass withdrawal of Africans from the ICC at the African Union Summit meeting, in January. There were similar fears of a mass African walk-out when the ICC indicted Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta for crimes against humanity, in 2012. The International Criminal Court dropped those charges two years later.
From its very inception, in 2002, the ICC has been a court for Africans only, a tool of the United States and the former colonial powers. Of the six cases that are currently, or soon to be, on the docket of the ICC, all involve indictments against Africans. It is as if the only high-placed criminal politicians in the world live in Africa.
South Africa says it is saying goodbye to the ICC because the court interferes with its national sovereignty. For example, South Africa styles itself as a peace-maker on the continent, and reserves the right to host talks between feuding parties, even if one of them has been charged with crimes by the ICC. Such was the case when Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir visited South Africa, last year.
In Rwanda, the International Criminal Court has acted as a prosecutorial service Paul Kagame, the Tutsi dictator. Despite abundant evidence that Hutus were also massacred during the Rwandan civil war, and that Kagame’s forces deliberately provoked the bloodbath, the ICC prosecuted only Hutus and opponents of the Kagame regime.
“Washington is not even a member of the ICC -- and never will be, since the U.S. is unwilling to be judged by any global authority.”
This year, the ICC seemed to be getting ready to indict the current Hutu president of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, who has been targeted for regime change by Rwanda and its super-power protector, the United States. That’s when Nkurunziza decided to get out of the ICC.
The U.S. is the most hypocritical player of all, when it comes to the International Criminal Court. Washington is not even a member of the ICC -- and never will be, since the U.S. is unwilling to be judged by any global authority. The U.S. voted against creation of the court when the issue came up for a vote at the United Nations, in 1998. Yet, Washington uses the ICC as a threat against African leaders that resist U.S. domination – like Burundi’s President Nkurunziza.
South African President Jacob Zuma can count on his African National Congress legislative majority to support a withdrawal from the ICC. It’s a welcome move on Zuma’s part, but it doesn’t make up for South Africa’s vote, five years ago in the UN Security Council, for a “no-fly zone” over Libya. That shameful surrender to U.S. pressure resulted in the overthrow and death Muammar Gadaffi, a great friend and material supporter of the South African liberation movement. Let’s hope that Zuma is now signaling that he will pursue a foreign policy that is more independent of the United States.
Reproduced from: http://blackagendareport.com/south_africa_leaves_icc (http://blackagendareport.com/south_africa_leaves_icc)
Title: Gambia withdraws from International Criminal Court
Post by: News on October 26, 2016, 02:10:22 PM
African nation says ICC persecuting "people of colour" but ex-prosecutor says continent's leaders covering up crimes.
Gambia has announced its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, accusing the Hague-based tribunal of "persecution and humiliation of people of colour, especially Africans".
Tuesday's announcement comes after similar decisions earlier this month by South Africa (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/south-africa-formally-applies-quit-icc-media-161021044116029.html) and Burundi (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/burundi-moves-quit-international-criminal-court-161012132153065.html) to abandon the institution, set up to try the world's worst crimes.
The ICC was set up in 2002 and is often accused of bias against Africa and has also struggled with a lack of cooperation, including from the US, which has signed the court's treaty but never ratified it.
The court had been used "for the persecution of Africans and especially their leaders" while ignoring crimes committed by the West, Sheriff Bojang, Gambia's information minister, said on state television.
He singled out the case of Tony Blair, former British prime minister, who the ICC decided not to indict over the Iraq war.
"There are many Western countries, at least 30, that have committed heinous war crimes against independent sovereign states and their citizens since the creation of the ICC and not a single Western war criminal has been indicted," Bojang said.
The withdrawal, he said, "is warranted by the fact that the ICC, despite being called International Criminal Court, is in fact an International Caucasian Court for the persecution and humiliation of people of colour, especially Africans".
Full Article: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/gambia-withdraws-international-criminal-court-161026041436188.html (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/gambia-withdraws-international-criminal-court-161026041436188.html)
Title: US Opposition to the International Criminal Court
Post by: News on October 26, 2016, 02:15:42 PM
The United States government has consistently opposed an international court that could hold US military and political leaders to a uniform global standard of justice. The Clinton administration participated actively in negotiations towards the International Criminal Court treaty, seeking Security Council screening of cases. If adopted, this would have enabled the US to veto any dockets it opposed. When other countries refused to agree to such an unequal standard of justice, the US campaigned to weaken and undermine the court. The Bush administration, coming into office in 2001 as the Court neared implementation, adopted an extremely active opposition. Washington began to negotiate bilateral agreements with other countries, insuring immunity of US nationals from prosecution by the Court. As leverage, Washington threatened termination of economic aid, withdrawal of military assistance, and other painful measures. The Obama administration has so far made greater efforts to engage with the Court. It is participating with the Court's governing bodies and it is providing support for the Court's ongoing prosecutions. Washington, however, has no intention to join the ICC, due to its concern about possible charges against US nationals.