News / Africa

Analyst Questions ICC’s Intense Focus on Africa

Combination picture shows Kenya's then-finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Kenya's former Higher Education Minister William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague in these April 8, 2011 (L)  and September 1, 2011 file photos.
Combination picture shows Kenya's then-finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Kenya's former Higher Education Minister William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague in these April 8, 2011 (L) and September 1, 2011 file photos.
James Butty
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is observing Genocide Awareness month. ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has called on nations to cooperate in pursuing accountability for genocide. 

But American University Professor David Bosco, writing in The Washington Post asked: "Why is the International Criminal Court Picking on Africa?"

Bensouda has denied the court targets only Africans.  She said the court is simply seeking justice for victims of crimes against humanity. 

Bosco, who teaches in the School of International Service, said, over the last decade, the ICC has opened eight investigations, all of them in Africa, with more than two dozen indictees.

"First of all, a number of regions in Africa remain conflict-prone, and so, because the criminal court focuses primarily on situations of armed conflict, those regions have obviously been areas of interest for the court.  Second, a number of African states chose to join the court, which gives the court broad jurisdiction over potential crimes committed on their territory," he said.

Bosco said another explanation why the ICC seems to be targeting Africa is that the U.N. Security Council, which has the power to expand the court’s reach by referring cases, has given the ICC more room to operate in Africa.

Butty interview with Bosco
Butty interview with Boscoi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Bosco said the ICC has not gone into other areas of conflict where it has jurisdiction, such as Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, or Sri Lanka.

“It’s important to note that the court could have opened some other investigations outside of Africa.  For example, the court has jurisdiction in Afghanistan and has not opened an investigation; it has jurisdiction in Colombia; it had jurisdiction in Georgia during the Russian and Georgian conflict," Bosco said.

Bensouda has denied the court has targeted only Africans.  She said the court is simply seeking justice for victims of crimes against humanity. 

But, Bosco said, while the ICC may say it is standing up for victims in Africa, it has not stood up for victims in other conflict areas of the world.

"The question now is, aren’t there also victims in Afghanistan; aren’t there also victims in Colombia, in Georgia, and other places?  And so, yes, she’s [Bensouda] right that the court is standing up for victims, but it’s standing up for victims in Africa and not in other places of the world," Bosco said.

Bosco said the indictments of Kenyan President-Elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his Vice President-Elect, William Ruto, could test Bensouda’s view.

"It remains to be seen whether Mr. Kenyatta will cooperate with the court once the time comes for his trial.  But, I think there is a distinct possibility that he will say that he’s not going to show [up] for his trial for a variety of reasons, and his lawyers have tried to have the case against [him] dismissed," Bosco said.

He said African leaders have taken note in the ICC’s intense interest in Africa, especially since the indictment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2010, which many African leaders thought would hurt the chances for peace in Sudan.

"I think there’s a real debate going on within the African Union and the membership about what the proper course is to take with the ICC.  And, certainly, some voices have suggested that it may be time for Africa to develop its own criminal court which could, in effect, handle the cases of violence without the ICC being involved," he said.

Bosco said the ICC’s focus on Africa may be due in part to the court not wanting to provoke powerful nations.

"It’s not so much that the court is biased against Africa as that it is reluctant to meddle in cases in which the geopolitics are intense," he said.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Matem Ngor Matem from: Uganda.
April 03, 2013 9:34 AM
Europeans must look at how Almighty father created people, God was not fool to create both man and woman but for the mutual satisfactory between man and woman, if we consider the same sex marriage, my question is, who will marriage the ladies? And can the world proceed? Who shall gave birth to who if man and man, woman and woman? Shame.


by: Matem Ngor Matem from: From Uganda.
April 03, 2013 9:20 AM
United Nations is working on the progress of the entire states around the globe, therefore, Countries around the world must take initiative to implement what is needed to be done in order to bring world, therefore, North Korea, Syria, and Iran who voted against the treat yesterday must be consider by UN because the are concern with world peace.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid