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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    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.

    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.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.