AFTER having read the article ‘Namibia’s ICC verdict ahead of AU Summit’ in your newspaper, I wish to express my views on this very important topic. First of all it’s worth to state that the International Criminal Court is used by the Western countries as a tool of political pressure on troublesome African regimes. The US’ demand to South Africa to strictly comply with the Rome statute and to arrest President Omar Bashir of Sudan during the AU Summit is a clear example. Meanwhile the Americans themselves withdrew their signature from the Rome statute just two years after signing it in 2000.They severely condemned the ICC for its violation of their national interests.
They also expressed the belief that ‘the ICC is built on a flawed foundation’ and that ‘these flaws leave it open for exploitation and politically motivated prosecutions’. Moreover, Washington undertook various efforts to prevent US citizens from being prosecuted by the ICC. For example on August 2, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the American Service Members’ Protection Act. According to it the US President is authorised to use all means necessary (including military force) to release any American citizen and citizens of allied countries who are detained or imprisoned by, on behave of, or at the request of the ICC. And besides the US concluded bilateral agreements with a number of countries which oblige the latter not to extradite the American citizens to the ICC under the threat of termination of American military assistance. It is worth to mention that since it operationalisation in 2002 the International Criminal Court has ruled only four cases while none of them touched upon representatives of the Western countries. It’s also interesting that the ICC activities since its creation cost its members more than US$1 billion. All this demonstrates inefficiency of the Court and its biased focus on the developing countries.
All of us were witnesses to how the ICC issued warrants for the arrests of the legally elected heads of the sovereign states, like Sudan and Kenya. It prevents the activities of the African leaders, negatively affects their economic performance, contributes to deliberate disunity of the society, and increases disparities among African states. The upcoming African Union Summit set for January 30-31 this year, gives the African heads of state an opportunity to display to the West and international community in general their capacity to speak with one voice in defending their common national interests by taking a collective decision to quit the ICC. Instead the Africans should speed up their efforts to create the African court of justice which will be the best alternative to the ICC. It’s also a perfect chance for Namibia to increase its prestige on the continent by showing its clear support to our sister countries like South Africa and others who have already taken a decision on the issue under consideration.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015