President Bashir Arrest Warrant: Why the Double Standards?
The decision taken by the Pre-trial Chamber 1 of the ICC to issue a warrant of arrest against the President of The Republic of Sudan H.E Omar al Bashir is a wake up call to African leaders that they are not only under the scrutiny of their electorates, but also the international community.
The ICC should however not overlook the African Union whose Peace and Security Council (PSC) requested the UN Security Council in accordance with the provisions of Article 16 of the Rome Statute to defer the process based on the risks posed. By ignoring a body legally mandated to transact issues in Africa; the ICC, whose credibility in the African context is currently in doubt for not prosecuting the Boers in South Africa; Belgians in Congo; Germans in Namibia and the British in Kenya for violating human rights, disqualifies itself from championing justice in Africa.
The ICC has received over 1,700 complaints from at least 103 countries, according to a Human Rights Watch report, but has not acted on them. The conflict in Darfur started 18 years after the one in northern Uganda which killed over 300,000 civilians, caused the abduction of 20, 000 children and drove 2 million into refugee camps.
The International Criminal Court is only targeting Africa for political audit and ego laundering by the West. Africa ought to set up its own continental tribunal to try perpetrators of human rights abuse. African citizenry on the other hand should be wary of leaders who ignore them but only seek their support when faced with international pressure.
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