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 New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

New methods for mapping pain in the brain not only validate sufferers of chronic pain but might someday also lead to better treatment More

Sierra Leone's Stray Dog Population Doubles During Ebola Crisis

Many dog owners fear their pets could infect them with the virus and have abandoned them, leading to the increase and sparking fears of rabies More

Fake, Substandard Medicines Pose Global Challenge

So-called 'fake drugs' include expired medicines, those with manufacturing defects, and bogus tablets 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.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs