ANC lashes ICC’s double standards
by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) has accused the International Criminal Court (ICC) for selective application of the law.
The organ has thus ceased to be useful as it target leaders from developing countries, the party argued following the arrival of Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir in the country for the 25th African Union Summit
The ICC wants al Bashir arrested and be arraigned for alleged crimes against humanity.
“The African National Congress holds a view that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is no longer useful for the purposes for which it was intended – being a court of last resort for the prosecution of crimes against humanity,” ANC stated.
It added, “The fact that compliance with the prescripts of the International Criminal Court is voluntary and countries can choose whether to be a signatory or not, means that gross human violations committed by non-signatory countries go unpunished.”
“Countries, mainly in Africa and Eastern Europe, who due to their unwavering commitment to upholding human rights and universal justice, have elected to be signatories to the ICC continue to unjustifiably bear the brunt of the decisions of the ICC with Sudan being the latest example,” the statement made available to CAJ News read.
ANC thus called for a review of the statutes of the ICC to compel all member states of the United Nations to be signatories to the Rome Statute to ensure that the ICC was able to act in accordance with the function for which it was intended – a fair and independent court for universal and equitable justice.
“The matter before the High Court in Pretoria relating to the President of Sudan has once again brought to the fore the fundamental flaws of the workings of the ICC and the urgent need for the amendment of the Rome Statute to ensure that justice knows no geographic boundaries or geo-political dynamics.”
The ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) stance is in line with Zimbabwean President and African Union (AU) Chairman, Robert Mugabe, who over the years dismissed ICC as colonial tool to subject African leaders to embarrassment while former colonisers always committed heinous crimes against humanity and not held accountable.
Mugabe is on record saying former American President, George Bush, and his British counterpart, Tony Blair, committed genocide in Iraq where the two countries’ forces massacred close to a million people (about 800,000) on the pretext Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
Meanwhile, calls by the opposition Democratic Alliance to have the Sudanese President’s arrest on arrival in South Africa flopped.
Ahead of his arrival, the DA has said it would write to Riah Phiyega, as the head of the police service, to urge her “to display the political will to uphold the law, both domestic and international, and send a message that South Africa takes allegations of crimes against humanity and war crimes very seriously.”
“Mr Bashir is a fugitive from the International Criminal Court (ICC) which issued a warrant for his arrest in 2009. He was charged for war crimes and crimes against humanity for playing an ‘essential role’ in the murder, rape, torture, pillage and displacement of large numbers of civilians in Darfur,” Stevens Mokgalapa, DA Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, said.
– CAJ News
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