By Keffyalew Gebremedhin – The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
While not intended to be an exchange between the Kenyan leader and the United Nations, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on January 30, 2016 reminded African governments that they were instrumental in establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC) – the ultimate guarantor of accountability for the victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In that context, the UN News Center reported, the Secretary-General called the court “an ally for African victims of these most heinous crimes”, according to UN News Center.
Commending those nations that are actively supporting the ICC’s vital work and urging all member states to maintain their commitment to the Court’s founding Rome Statute, Mr. Ban said that strengthening the court will strengthen accountability for victims, in Africa and around the world.
“Leaders who stand by while civilians are slaughtered in their name must be held responsible. I am particularly concerned that leaders in South Sudan have again failed to meet the deadline to form a transitional government,” he said by way of example. He expressed his frustration by stating that, adding that instead of enjoying the fruits of independence, the people of South Sudan have endured more than two years of unimaginable suffering.
In general, the UN Chief encouraged the continent’s leaders to move on from setting standards to what he called “the three I’s” – Implementation, Institution-building and Investment in real change – and set a shining example for the wider world.
He then went on to state: “I encourage you to make these real by ratifying them where necessary,” and urged the gathered leaders to move on from setting standards towards implementation, institution-building and investment in real change, all of which would be a fitting legacy of the African Year of Human Rights.
“Human rights are crucial to the maintenance of peace and security, the fight against violent extremism and promoting sustainable development,” continued Mr. Ban, also stressing that women need to participate fully in the life of society, including the highest levels of state structures and in the framework of the peace talks.
“The era of exclusion is over. To change the dynamic, we must resolutely invest in empowering women and expanding opportunities available to them,” he underscored.
He went on to note that the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan was a particularly significant step and he urged all parties to act on its recommendations and to make greater use of these inquiries to address abuses.
In a related matter, Kenya and Seychelles, both candidates to UN Security Council seat from the East Africa sub-region, suddenly announced their candidature, allegedly in favor of Ethiopia. As I discussed in my articles on the matter there is shady deal between Ethiopia and those concerned countries.
Not doing this will have huge implications for Kenyan politics, to the extent of affecting the Jubilee Party’s standing in the 2017 election. Moreover, already President Kenyatta is being attacked by Kenyans who feel that, after he got his ICC-indictee status removed with the charges against him at the ICC set aside pending fresh evidences, he has not been doing enough to do the same for his deputy, William Ruto.
The question is that whether Africa should be taken for a ride to help the Kenyan president, who says “We refuse to be carried along in a vehicle that has strayed off-course to the detriment of our sovereignty, security & dignity as Africans.” However, in so doing he denies Africa possibilities to hold their leaders accountable, being pushed off by his scheming to undermine international justice place in Africa.Another dictator, almost 30 years in power, Uganda’s Museveni tweets: “Kenyatta and I deliberately invited the Pope in order for him to help us escape from Rome Statute, I’m happy AU supports the move!”
These people are not working in the interest of Africa, but to enrich themselves, while being safe with all sorts of scheming, using the African Union whatever comes handy!
Ethiopia’s AU chairmanship fails the Union, the host finding comfort in a few hardheaded ICC opponents