How much must African dictators and their club, the African Union, paid Joseph Chilengi, to make such emotional speech from Kigali, Rwanda, where the butchers of African peoples are caucusing in their annual heads of state summit? Chilengi may have not noticed that one of the summit’s agenda items is Burundi.
Burundi is a country where, in violation of its constitution, the incumbent Pierre Nkurunziza tore it apart at the beginning of the year and threw into the bin to run for a third term, which is prohibited by the law of the land. He has been clinging on power since 2005.
He did run for the third term and announced winning, as all Africans do, irrespective of whether that decision reflects the will of the people.
Citizens protested his decision; he started shooting to kill as many as he could. When this is happening his country was readying itself to take its seat as a new member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, having won election as an African candidate at the UN General Assembly. It still is a member, despite the horrendous amount of blood in the hands of the regime. Several tens of thousands of Burundians left their homes and became refugees in neighboring countries. Over a thousand Burundians have been killed, shot in the streets and inside their homes by the security forces of Mr. Nkurunziza.
Joseph Chilengi cannot address himself to this problem.
Rwanda is another example. Against prohibition by the Rwandan constitution, Paul Kagame is also running for a third time in one of Africa’s most repressive countries. Mr. Kagame is known to have long hands to stir trouble in DR Congo; his intelligence people were found in South Africa trying to hunt and kill Rwandan dissidents, and the same in Uganda. His goal is to remain in power as long as it takes, which he is like to get, although Rwandans are not free to voice their displeasure.
This is the reason why the African Union hired Joseph Chilengi, to berate the ICC for him and many others. Chilengi must have pleased Kenyan leaders too, who recently succeeded in blokcing witnesses to ICC, in a country where both the president and his vice-president’s cases were recently closed temporarily.
Surely, the case of the ICC-indictee Omar al Basher is one more on the list of wanted leaders for crimes against humanity. He now feels at home in Kigali, despite the ICC contacting Rwandan officials to arrest him as a criminal wanted for crimes against humanity. Since Kagame himself some day is likely to be on the dock, it is unlikely he would hand him over to The Hague.
Louise Mushikwabo, Rwanda’s Foreign Minister, confirming that Omar al-Bashir would be attending the summit said “Rwanda as a country was not against justice, [but] when justice is politicized, we have to think twice”, which is an apparent reference to the fact that al-Bashir would not be arrested in Rwanda.
If a criticism is to be leveled at the ICC, it would not be the tired allegation of why African war lords are its main targets. There is nothing like that on this blog. That is the excuse of the violators of Africans’ human rights, campaign against the ICC out of fear for their crimes of impunity.
Instead, we would blame the ICC for its failure not to zoom on the crimes of the Tigrai Pople’s Liberation Front (TPLF) butchers in Ethiopia. Through the years, they have been accused of massacring Ethiopians in the Ogaden, Gambella, now in Oromia and Gondar. By their latest admission, they have been responsible for the assassination of 400 Ethiopians in six months of public protests.
Is the ICC waiting for all non-Tigreans to be wiped out of the country?
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has come under fire at the ongoing African Union Summit for allegedly failing to uphold principles of the international justice system.
The Hague-based court was accused by AU officials of bias toward African countries and lacking fairness.
Dr. Joseph Chilengi, the Presiding Officer of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the Union, said that the ICC has failed to adhere to international justice system.
“Europeans would like to impose their solutions such as ICC on Africa. It is clear that ICC is part of the problem of the international justice system. It is a problem rather than a solution,” Dr. Chilengi said.
He said that the court had failed in achieving universality just as it had failed in terms of independence.
“The fact is that ICC and its behavior is damaging and raping the international justice system. They claim to be an international court, but from our perspective it is not such. It is a court that represents only one third of the world’s population while we have USA, Russia, China and countries like the world’s largest democracy, India, are not members,” he said.
He added that the court had failed to achieve independence by giving the United Nation’s Security Council prosecutorial rights and by its sources of funding.
“The EU provides over 70 per cent of the ICC budget further violating the Rome Statute, which says no one member state can pay more than 22 per cent of the budget and as we know, he who pays the piper calls the tune.”
“This is why, no EU, US or NATO soldier or politician will ever appear before the court. This is why allegations of war crimes, genocide in Iraq, Afghanistan continue to go unpunished,” he added.
Further, tearing into the court, the AU official added that the court had used false grounds to persecute Sudan President Omar El Bashir.
The court, he said, did not give the Sudanese leader a chance to appear before them before issuing an arrest warrant.
“The grounds used to persecute Omar El Bashir were actually false. Confirmations and declarations from American courts show that two Americans, one of them a former American Ambassador to Sudan, falsified information, he revealed.
Dr. Chilengi went ahead to produce statements to prove his statements.
Following the Bashir case, Sudan had been subject to sanctions from America and multiple European countries.
He noted that the sanctions extended to Sudan were not only illegal but had also greatly affected lives and livelihoods of innocent citizens.
“For Sudan whose president has been indicted for allegation of war crimes, you also have a country such as Sudan under sanctions. Sanctions are illegal in human rights law, you cannot apply sanctions unilaterally unless with the consent of the UN system,” he said.
The sanction, he added, have only served to isolate the country from the world and serve the interests of those with interest in Sudan as opposed to justice.
“US has provided a system of applying sanctions on Sudan. For the last 30 years, 70 per cent of the Sudanese population is made up of youth, born after the sanctions were imposed. You have a youthful population suffering for no reason”.
He added that the court was losing the confidence of Africans hence the recent calls to withdraw if the court does not change its approach in dealing with Africa.
“Human rights and justice are an absolute requirement for Africa and Africans just like in the rest of the world. ICC is not for Africa, not only is its focus on Africa clouded by racism which is unacceptable, it has persistent allegations of corruption. International justice system must be perfected,” he said.
Dr. Babiker Mohamed Tom, an Economist from Sudan, said that sanctions had stopped the social economic development of Sudan and isolated it from the world.
“These sanctions have a very negative impact on the Sudanese economy. They are putting limitation on the economy to move freely and deal through trade and investments with the world economy. The economy is shrinking due to little room for maneuver to have partnership with the international community players,” Dr Mohamed said.
He said that bodies such as the IMF and World Bank can no longer issue loans to the country while international firms doing business with Sudan risk fines by the American government.
Due to the state of affairs, he said Sudan had dropped on the list of attracting foreign direct investment, GDP growth had dropped to nearly 1 per cent and inflation is now in double digit figures.
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