News / Africa

UN Chief Rejects African Criticism of International Court

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives for the 18th African Union Summit in the Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, January 29, 2012.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives for the 18th African Union Summit in the Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, January 29, 2012.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says African criticism of the International Criminal Court is unfounded. Ban spoke to VOA's Peter Heinlein about the court and other issues, on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa.

The U.N. secretary-general takes exception to suggestions that the ICC record of prosecutions shows an anti-African bias. Critics point out that the seven active ICC investigations are all in Africa.

In comments to VOA, however, Ban rejected the bias charge, arguing that African governments have, in most cases, supported the ICC actions.

“On many occasions when African people were indicted, they were indicted at the request of the African countries themselves. And, there were very few cases that investigations were instigated by ICC itself," said Ban.

The outgoing chairman of the Africa Union, Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, used his farewell speech at the summit to denounce the ICC and suggest that Africa should create its own criminal court.

Ban counters that the ICC has performed well recently in ending what he calls the era of impunity in Ivory Coast and Libya.

“I think the examples and lessons we have seen in the case of Cote d'Ivoire and Libya was a very positive one in that everything was moving toward the right direction in terms of establishing international justice and putting an end to impunity and putting all these perpetrators to justice. We're now working very hard in these countries to establish transitional justice. Therefore, an era of impunity has come to an end,” said Ban.

On other matters, Ban hailed as historic the recent relocation to Mogadishu of the United Nations Political Office on Somalia. The move marks an end to a 17-year period in which the world body had no permanent presence in the Somali capital. He called this moment when al Shabab insurgents are on the run a small window of opportunity for Somali’s future stability. He said he will recommend that the Security Council approve an expansion of the African Union's AMISOM peacekeeping force from 10,000 to 17,000 troops before a major conference on Somalia in mid-February.

“I'm going to make a report to the Security Council very soon. I hope Security Council will have a favorable consideration on this increase in the strength of AMISOM before we meet in London for International Conference on Somalia,” said Ban.

The secretary general also called Sudan President Omar al-Bashir an obstacle to peace, and said the Sudan-South Sudan dispute about oil is a threat to regional security. The comments come after regional leaders failed at meetings here in Addis Ababa to agree on transit fees and sharing oil revenues, prompting South Sudan to implement a total shutdown of oil production.

South Sudan controls more than 70 percent of the two countries’ oil output, but needs pipelines running through Sudan to get the oil to port.





You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid