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Although I believe not in the Bible, I like some of its wisdom. John 8:7 says, “He who is without sin among you can cast the first stone at her,”. Jesus was responding to a mob justice that brought a woman accused of adultery. He wanted to assassin the tendency of better than thou among Jews.

Recently, some quarters in Africa proved to act as those Jews in Jesus’ story. Some are now accusing the International Criminal Court of racism, selectivity and targeting black leaders. Is ICC really targeting anybody or it is doing its work? A couple of current and former African rulers are facing charges before the ICC. Indicted are two sitting presidents, Omar Bashir (Sudan) and Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya). One sitting deputy president William Ruto is also charged. Two former presidents, Charles Taylor (Liberia) and Laurent Gbagbo (Ivory Coast) are behind bars waiting for their cases to be heard and determined. Suspects along with wannabe suspects and desperados are giving ICC a bad name by accusing it of racism and targeting African rulers. Bashir is charged along with his two lieutenants, Ally Kushayb and Ahmed Haroun. Actually, those people do not advance any legal and logical arguments. Instead they are yelling and politicizing ICC through duping their people to support their evil plot.

Other African indictees are Ugandan fugitive Lord Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony, along with his lieutenants and other rebel leaders from Darfur, DRC and the son of former Libyan strong man, Saif al Islam Gaddafi to mention but a few.

On the one hand, ICC has already confirmed charges against African who’s who, while in the other hand, it has already dismissed other cases involving Africans such as Henry Kosgey, Mohamed Husssein (Kenya), Bahr Idris Abu Garda (Sudan) and Calixte Mbarushimana (Rwanda). Also ICC has already acquitted other Africans such as Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui (DRC). So too, ICC convicted Thomas Lubanga Dyilo (DRC).

Yes. Looking at the above mentioned people, it is true they are all Africans. Again, were they charged because they are Africans or just because they were accused of committing crimes ranging from rape, crimes against humanity, genocide and what not? It is important to underscore that ICC is a legally enacted instrument to deal with legal but not political matters. One would think that those accusing the ICC would produce logical evidence to prove their assertion. Instead, they are making rumpus unnecessarily. Recently Rwanda and Uganda led the choir of taking shots at the ICC. When this happened many asked one major question: Why now, not when African countries willingly and knowledgeably consented to and ratified the Rome Statute? Were they forced or duped into consenting and ratifying the same? Didn’t they know what they were doing? Did they know what they were doing save they didn’t know what would be the impacts of the ICC? Isn’t this double standard in the first place?

Rwanda’s Justice Minister Johnston Busingye was recently quoted as saying, “Africa seems to be taking the lion’s share of the ICC, for example, in the last one decade or so. So our position has really been this kind of justice is selective, and we do not want to have international justice being used as a tool, or being perceived as a tool to control Africa”. I concur with Busingye that Africa took a lion share in committing crimes. Is this ICC’s fault? The whole world knows that Africa has a big chunk of conflict globally.

It is sad to see people we thought to be of integrity such as Ethiopian Premier, Haile Mariam Desalegn jumping into the bandwagon of desperation. Desalegn was, in May, quoted as saying, “The process ICC is conducting in Africa has a flaw. The intention was to avoid any kind of impunity and ill governance and crime, but now the process has degenerated into some kind of race hunting.” Again, who is hunting who if African countries took their cases before the ICC?

Stephen Musau, chair of the Rights Promotion and Protection Center in Kenya however has the answer as to why African countries should not complain but instead put their houses in order. He was quotes as saying, “The failure is what led us to the ICC and that failure cannot be blamed on Kenyans. It is the state machinery, which failed to show the way in terms of how we deal with these issues and because we failed in that, we are supporting the ICC.”

By and large, all being said, we need to know that those accusing the ICC of
selectivity.

Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He writes regularly for “The African Executive” and also has a blog entitled “Free Thinking Unabii”. He is a regular contributor to AfroSpear.

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