News / Africa

African Nations Discuss Stance on ICC

FILE - Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto (R) reacts as he sits in the courtroom before his trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
FILE - Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto (R) reacts as he sits in the courtroom before his trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
VOA News
African Union leaders are meeting in Ethiopia to discuss the International Criminal Court, which some countries charge is biased against African nations.

Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the 54-member AU on Friday the ICC has become a political tool that unfairly targeted Africans.

On Thursday, Zimbabwe's justice minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, accused the ICC of humiliating African leaders while being slow to prosecute Western leaders.

The criticism comes as the Hague-based court prepares for the November trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mr. Kenyatta, and his deputy, William Ruto, face charges of crimes against humanity for allegedly organizing post-election violence in 2007 and 2008.

On Thursday, Mr. Kenyatta's lawyers called for the case the case to be dismissed, citing alleged abuses that included witness intimidation.

The Kenyan parliament voted last month for the country to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the ICC.

However, Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed says Kenya will not lobby for a mass withdrawal from the ICC at the AU summit.

Earlier this week, the world court received support from 130 groups across Africa. In an open letter, they said the ICC is a "crucial court of last resort."

Former U.N. chief Kofi Annan also defended the ICC and urged African leaders not to withdraw their support.

Amnesty International said an African bid to pull out from the ICC would be "reactionary in the extreme." In a Thursday statement, the international rights group said the court should expand its work outside of Africa, but that did not mean the current ICC probes involving African countries were "without basis."

Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo is awaiting trial at the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity. Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the court for alleged war crimes and genocide in Darfur.

The AU summit began Friday with ministerial-level meetings. Heads of state will join the session on Saturday in Addis Ababa.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Julius Sibanda
October 12, 2013 1:35 PM
Some folk have a very short memory of what happened in Zimbabwe.

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
October 12, 2013 3:35 AM
African leaders suffered long-lasting humiliation by ICC and the Western world. With copies of colonialism template in their possession, ICC continually treats black African leaders as international second class citizens. This kind of behaviour has to be stopped.
Africa will lose nothing for standing up and demand equal treatment for ALL!! And ICC has to pay a price for misbehaving.

October 12, 2013 12:56 AM
Most African Leaders that support pulling out from ICC are insecured as they know the court may visit them any time they may find themselves in similar situation of post election violence or the like. Most cases that are there are result of clinging to Power; which is common in Africa

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs