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 Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
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