Is the African Union Reverting to a Presidents Club?

Published on 15th October 2013

African heads of state have put up a spirited effort to engage the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) with a view of making the ICC to take Africa seriously. While the AU has a legitimate quest to be taken seriously in the international arena; its strategy begs more questions. 

The leaders hold that serving heads of state or government or individuals acting in such capacity should not be subjected to a justice system while in office. Will this not push back Africans to the days of "President for life" as individuals dodge responsibility? AU avers that it's neither crusading against the ICC nor exiting the legal framework of the Rome Statutes. Why then is all the raucous about ICC becoming a colonial and racist court if both (AU and ICC) are simply employing laid down procedures of engagement?

As the leaders join efforts to shield their own, they should be careful not to be out of step with the citizenry and slide the continental body back to the "presidents club" modus operandi.  It is important for AU to whip African leadership to pay more attention to the concerns of their citizenry. The quest for sovereignty should not become a license to kill. At best, true leaders would first seek to have their names cleared to safeguard the very sovereignty they purport to fight for.

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