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African Union nations draft motion to quit ICC

17 July 2016, 17:43

Kampala - The ongoing dialogue on the common position by African countries on the withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) is in its final stages after a joint committee tasked with addressing address the UN Security Council disclosed its recommendations at the ongoing 27th AU Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, The Daily Monitor reported.

The Committee of Foreign Affairs Ministers, also discussed a decision by the ICC to refer Uganda's failure to detain Sudanese President Omar-Al-Bashir to the UN Security Council.

According to sources, a draft decision was passed that will formulate a final decision when the heads of state convene over the weekend.

Committee members concluded that most African countries would also like to strengthen institutions to deal with impunity while including in its jurisdiction, international war crimes and crimes against humanity handled by the ICC.

The African Court was established by Article 1 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which was adopted under then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in Burkina Faso in 1998.

The protocol eventually came into force in 2004 after being ratified by at least 15 African countries with 15 additional countries having ratified it since. The court has jurisdiction over all cases related to the interpretation and application of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.

But as of February 2015, no fewer than seven party states have made declarations recognising the competence of the Court to receive cases which has made leaving the ICC more difficult.

The seven countries that still recognise the court include, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Malawi, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Mali.

News24 reported that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni a few months ago called the ICC a bunch of useless people while accusing the ICC of being biased against African leaders.

Museveni's sentiments were shared by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe who said that there was a need for the African Union to create its own ICC, which would be mandated to prosecute Western leaders, who had committed crimes on the continent.

The International Criminal Court, located in The Hague, is the last resort for prosecution of crimes against humanity such as genocide and war crimes. Since its establishment in 2002, the court has made massive strides in putting international justice on the map.

However the ICC's daunting mandate have made its flaws more visible as its member countries face increased challenges in meeting raised expectations.

- News24 Nigeria


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