Viewpoint: On Africa and the ICC

By Eyob Balcha

When it comes to Africa pulling out of the ICC, I have a complicated feeling:

1) I honestly believe that the upcoming extra-ordinary meeting is intended to delay justice to the victims of the violence both in Kenya and Sudan.  African ‘leaders’ are making a historic error if they agree to withdraw from ICC.

2) So far, the Continental Human Rights instruments and institutions have not been functioning well mainly because of the political elements involved and the politicians are the one to blame. Without any proper continental and sub-regional Justice system in place, denouncing ICC is unacceptable.

3) I also share the notion that ICC has been very vocal on African cases and ignores other cases. For instance, George W. Bush is a War Criminal for what he did in Iraq but we have never heard anything in this regard.  This doesn’t mean however that African war crime suspects should not be prosecuted for what they probably have done.

4) If Al-Bashir and Uhuru Kenyata believe that they are innocents, why don’t they face the trial and prove themselves innocent rather than escape through the back-door?

5) Lastly, I like the way how one Ethiopian writer puts it ” … for African leaders; it’s an issue of governance when they kill citizens, but an issue of racism when they are asked about it by ICC”.

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