News / Africa

Ethiopia Supports Campaign Against International Court

A general view shows a section of the skyline in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Sept. 16, 2013.
A general view shows a section of the skyline in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Sept. 16, 2013.
Marthe van der Wolf
Ethiopia, which currently chairs the African Union, says it supports the push by Kenya for African countries to jointly withdraw from the International Criminal Court.  The ICC has put Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto on trial for alleged crimes against humanity, while President Uhuru Kenyatta is scheduled to go on trial in November. 

Ethiopia says it will support Kenya’s campaign to find a continent-wide stance on possibly pulling out of the ICC.  The issue is likely to be discussed at the African Union summit next month in Addis Ababa.

An April 2011 Combination picture shows Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.An April 2011 Combination picture shows Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
An April 2011 Combination picture shows Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
An April 2011 Combination picture shows Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
Government spokesman Redwan Hussein says Ethiopia feels that the ICC singles out African leaders.

“We never appreciated what the ICC has been doing, particularly when it comes African leaders, and its belittling and it’s disparaging the African leadership.  So we stand by the Kenyan people and we stand by the Kenyan government,” said Redwan Hussein.

All official investigations of the ICC since it was established in 2002 have been in African countries. 

That fact has prompted some African officials to refer to the court as a tool of Western powers.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn accused the ICC earlier this year of race hunting.

The ICC appointed Fatou Bensouda from Gambia last year as its new chief prosecutor. She has stated repeatedly that most cases are opened in cooperation with African countries, and dismissed the idea that the ICC is singling out African leaders.

However, Redwan believes Ethiopia will not need to actively push other African countries to take up its position during the October summit.

“They share the take that we have with ICC, so they don’t need Ethiopia’s urging or pushing them to take whatever action, because the feeling is already there in each country,” he said.

Kenyan lawmakers voted earlier this month to withdraw from the ICC, a decision that will take at least a year to take effect.

In the meantime, Kenyan Attorney General Githu Muigai says his office is cooperating with the ICC.

"From this office, I have filed documents with the court, when I have been requested to do so, demonstrating we are supporting the court in its work, and we recognize the court is an independent judicial organ," said Muigai.

President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto are being tried on charges of orchestrating the ethnic violence that swept across the country after the disputed 2007 presidential election.  Both men have denied the charges, and at the start of his trial this week, Ruto pleaded not guilty.

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Comment Sorting
by: All Expenses Paid from: Hague, Netherlands
September 21, 2013 5:27 PM
ICC are a bunch of all expenses paid bureaucrat lawyers who get their marching orders and endless bills paid by Western governments.

Where are the charges against:

1. America's Guantanamo illegal prisons (over 10 years now)?
2. Hundred thousand Iraqi deaths?
3. Even Russian & Chinese powers are untouchable!

Big endless all expenses paid joke...And like every good NGO scam, they need more Africans to continue their lifestyle!

by: Moti from: Canada
September 21, 2013 6:00 AM
Ethiopian regime are fully aware that they will be next to face trial. ICC must do it's job in accordance to international law to stop those narrow minded dictatorial African leaders and to bring real progress for African nation. The Ethiopian regime arbitrary killing of Oromo and other non Tirgrian tirbes are genocide against humanity. It is really funny when Ethiopian regime are calling ICC racist to get away from crime they are committing against Humanity. I hope Deputy President William Ruto will pay the price for handing out UNHCR recognized political refugee to Ethiopian regime for killing by violating UN refugee charter! Rest in peace Engineer Tesfahun Chamanda. sombody has to stop those corrupted African leaders to bring real change for African Nation.

by: Charles Macharia from: Nairobi, Kenya
September 21, 2013 5:37 AM
The geopolitics of the world are centred on the middle east where the world's oil and gas resources abound. The recent discovery of abundant petroleum and mineral resources around East Africa and Kenya's regional strategic advantage now makes Kenya an easy target of economic imperialism. I believe the powers that control the ICC are motivated by their own economic and political interests rather than any concern for victims of alleged crimes in Kenya.

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
September 21, 2013 2:43 AM
The new chief prosecutor of ICC Fatou Bensouda should not dismiss the idea that ICC deliberately singled out African leaders but as a prosecutor she should be demanding PROVE !. The world has convincing evidences that ICC has an urgency desire to punish only African leaders who misbehave. Fatou Bensouda must not hold on her job at the expense of these poor African leaders,

by: Alem
September 20, 2013 6:24 PM
It is not surprising to see Ethiopian rulers grasp at straws. When state sovereignty could not stop intervention against human rights abuses we see once again abusers playing the race card. The problem is that Ethiopian rulers rule under a racial policy [9 ethnic regions] funded by the West. Tigrayans are a minority [4.5 million of 91 million total] in the leadership they put together of the compliant and the corrupt. You go to Kenya you find the Kikuyu dominating and so on. If, however, ICC succeeds in its pursuit of criminals the casualty will include the late-Prime Minister Meles Zenawi [albeit posthumously] and his wife and their comrades. Think of it this way. In addition to genocide in Gambela, Harar, Addis Ababa and on Ethio-Eritrea borders over $16 billions of aid money have been laundered to a foreign bank in the past 10 years [see 2011 Reports from Office of Global Financial Integrity located in Washington, D.C.]. What this means is that tens of thousands had to suffer deprivation, hunger and death [esp. children and the elderly] because a group of leaders were so greedy and the laws did not apply to them that they could get away with heinous crimes shielded by a silly idea of sovereignty. Perhaps they should not have tried that with some body else's money! March on ICC!
In Response

by: Alem
September 22, 2013 1:47 PM
Dear Dani, You are reading too much into my comments. You've used the word "hate" several times whereas I never used it even once. I wrote UN and US "agencies" referring to reports in the public domain; you said US "government."

Secondly, To hate Tigrayans for me will amount to self-hate. My concern is with criminals and thieves not facing justice. I am not making this up; it is what even the ruling party has admitted. The only problem is that the big sharks are still out there endangering society because the law does not apply to them. Hence the need to have ICC come after them according a universally agreed charter to protect the defenseless.

I did not manufacture the fact of Tigrayans being a minority [you need to check census report put out by the gov]. That you are not aware some reports are out there is understandable. Reports do not come to you; you go out finding them. But if you depend on remarks by Susan Rice or other politicians you are naive and will be led astray. You want to check what Susan Rice said about Mugabe? Or Rwanda? Or Libya? Now the fact that Rice praised Meles does not remove his involvement in corruption or his order to shoot to kill peaceful demonstrators [which he subsequently order be investigated and would refuse to adhere to reports of the Commission of Inquiry]. You say "our ex prime minister was one of a kind that not only Ethiopia but the whole world lost." What you forget is that you could say the same thing just about every single person of the 197 murdered on the streets of Addis in 2006 or those killed in Gambela, Harar, etc. I feel your struggles to want to protect a side even when doing so conflicts with the facts. Best.
In Response

by: Dani
September 21, 2013 9:21 PM
You have a right to oppose and fight the Ethiopian Tigre leaders. What I don't understand is what is that got to do with a bunch of neo colonizers deciding to give justice to current Kenyan leaders and if they were really against the crime they say they are fighting, why are they only focussing on African leaders? I know so many losers who are blinded by hate of Tigres, Amharas, Eritreans, etc... but unless you choose your battle and fight strategically for just cause, you will loose any credibility you have left with. I have not seen the US government saying that Meles Zenawi has stashed stolen money and we have not heard the UN making any claim. To the contrary, what we heard from its top leaders (Susan Rice of USA or Banki Moon of the UN) is that our ex prime minister was one of a kind that not only Ethiopia but the whole world lost. The same thing can be said to the current foreign minister. Have you heard what some of the great minds such as Bill Gates and George Bush said about him? I know hate is blind, hate is merciless and hate is like a cancer that make you deny everything in front of you until you lose it.
In Response

by: Alem
September 21, 2013 7:27 PM
Dear Dani, I can see you are an angry man and one who does not care for facts to support your argument. You determined I am a traitor just because I said those who think they are above the law, steal aid money and kill citizens should face justice. You know this has been going on for 22 years and nothing seems to have changed locally. You know as well as I do that the late-Prime Minister Meles, his wife and their comrades stole millions and now own mansions and fat accounts locally and in foreign banks. We know how much they earn per month and we have evidence provided by the UN and US agencies so there is no question they robbed our poor country. You also determined I am not Tigrayan and that I hated Tigrayans. My reference to Tigrayans is that with 4.5 millions of 91 millions total they are a minority [a fact] and do not represent the nation. The 4-party coalition was formed by Tigrayan rebels in 1991; hardly any of those recruited in 1991 are now in power, whereas, we have the same Tigrayan leaders in every sector running the show [meaning the business sector, security, politics, and the church; Debretsion alone is in charge of Economy, Finance, Security, and Telecom and he is not an economist or a financial expert; Tedros the infectious diseases specialist is at Foreign Ministry and he never had the requisite training or experience in foreign relations other than studying in the UK for 4 years]. I don't think this is difficult to comprehend. Now you should not lump together the general public with leaders. As I said the leaders are thieves and criminals who happen to be Tigrayans. I can see you nodding already. So you must have gotten the gist of my comments. If not, go back and re-read the original. Best.
In Response

by: Dani
September 21, 2013 2:40 PM
Africa have had traitors like you throughout her history. Your hatred towards Tigreans should not be a reason to side with the neo colonizers who are focusing to sabotage African's one way or another for their own advantage. Ethiopia is setting a precedent that we stand with our brothers specially the Kenyans whom we have lived in peace and harmony. They are capable of handling their own court and deal with their issues. If ICC was fair, Tony Blair and Dick Cheney would have been brought to justice.

by: Malaika from: Africa
September 20, 2013 5:32 PM
Racist International Criminal Court needs to first arrest GW Bush for killing over 100,000 Iraqis with false weapons of mass destruction excuse.

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