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Information about the activities of the International Criminal Court in relation to Africa.


The International Criminal Court is hurting Africa
by Courtenay Griffiths QC - Daily Telegraph, 3 July 2012

"Britain's support for the International Criminal Court is wrong and undermines its credibility in African countries ..."


The ICC, a tool to recolonise Africa
New African, 1 March 2012

""The fact that the ICC has focused so overwhelmingly on African situations prompts questions about why the gaze of international criminal justice falls in some places and on some people and not on others. The Court's focus on Africa has stirred African sensitivities about sovereignty and self-determination - not least because of the continent's history of colonisation and a pattern of decisions made for Africa by outsiders," say Nicholas Waddell and Phil Clark in their seminal work, Courting Conflicts? - Justice, Peace and the ICC in Africa ..."


African Union -vs- the ICC
New African, 1 March 2012

"On 3 July 2009, the AU resolved not to cooperate with the ICC regarding the indictment of the Sudanese president, Omar Bashir. Below is an abridged version of the AU statement ..."


ICC and Africa: selective justice
New African, 1 May 2009

"On 4 March 2009, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, only the second ever sitting president to be so indicted. This has caused outrage and anger among the normally placid African Union and its member countries. AU chairman and Libyan leader Muammar AlGathafi has said it is akin to “new world terrorism”, and that “all developing countries are opposed to the so-called ICC” ... "


Global Justice or Global Revenge? The ICC and the Politicization of International Criminal Justice
Lecture delivered by Prof Dr Hans Köchler at the World Conference for International Justice - 6 April 2009

"Among many sectors of international civil society the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has raised hopes that, from now on, international crimes could be prosecuted in a comprehensive, credible and consistent manner, in a way completely different from the victor’s justice of post-war tribunals or ad hoc tribunals created by the United Nations Security Council, the supreme executive organ of the world organization, in the years after the end of the Cold War. However, the noble idea of international criminal justice, administered by the ICC as a permanent institution, has been compromised from the outset and in two basic respects ... "

This article is also available in a pdf version, click here click here


A Waltz with al-Bashir
by Joshua Rozenberg - Standpoint, April 2009

"It could take two months or two years, but he will face justice." So said the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, speaking after he had been granted a warrant to arrest the president of Sudan. Don't hold your breath. Past experience shows how much Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the prosecutor, is prone to wishful
thinking ... "


Questions over arrest warrant for Bashir
ICCwatch letter - The Guardian, 6 March 2009

"Sudan, like many other countries, experienced British colonial rule. Now, it is being subjected to another form of external interference in its internal affairs (Facing court over Darfur, 5 March). The international criminal court in issuing an arrest warrant for President Bashir for alleged crimes committed inside the borders of Sudan, a country that - like India, Russia, America, China, and many others - refuses to submit to its jurisdiction, is asserting legal supremacy over this supposedly sovereign nation. But what is the ICC's moral and political right to claim that Sudan, and the entire world potentially, is under its jurisdiction? ..."


Bashir arrest warrant is political
NRC Handelsblad

"Formally the arrest warrant issued against Omar Hassan al-Bashir is the next step in the legal process against the Sudanese president, who was indicted by the International Criminal Court prosecutor in July 2008 for war crimes and crimes against humanity. But in reality, the first arrest warrant against a serving head of state, issued on Wednesday by the ICC in The Hague, is a political move ... "


Bashir vows to defy Darfur charge
BBC News - 4 March 2009

"Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has angrily rejected the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against him. Mr Bashir told thousands of cheering supporters in the capital that Sudan would not "kneel" to colonialists ... "

Related reports:

Will warrant tip Sudan into abyss? - BBC News, 4 March 2009
Warrant sparks anger in Khartoum - BBC News, 4 March 2009
Bashir warrant: Sudanese views - BBC News, 4 March 2009


Special Rapporteur Philip Alston calls for International Criminal Court to prosecute in Kenya
UN press release

"Today, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Philip Alston, concluded his 16 to 25 February 2009 fact-finding mission to Kenya ... "


Save Darfur: Why the UN Security Council should stop the ICC’s efforts to indict al-Bashir
Jackfruity blog - 16 February 2009

"The International Criminal Court’s recent fumbled attempt to try Congolese rebel leader Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is the latest addition to a series of reasons why an ICC indictment of Sudanese president Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir would be
unwise ... "


Defence comes on strong in Lubanga case
NRC Handelsblad

"Both the prosecution and defence have laid out their case this week in the first-ever case presented before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Is Thomas Lubanga a power-mad despot or a scapegoat?"


Chaos reigns at International Criminal Court trial of Thomas Lubanga
by David Charter - The Times

"A series of mishaps marked a shambolic opening day’s testimony yesterday at the trial of an alleged Congolese warlord which ended with the first witness retracting his claim to have been a child soldier ... "


Lawyer: Congo warlord's trial may not be fair
by Mike Corder, ABC News

"Defense lawyers for a Congolese warlord on trial for using child soldiers said Tuesday he is an innocent man sent to the International Criminal Court by President Joseph Kabila to get rid of a political opponent ... "


Lubanga denies war crimes in first ICC trial
By Katherine Iliopoulos, Crimes of War Project

"Former Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga Dyilo pleaded not guilty to charges of using child soldiers at his trial which opened on 26 January 2009 ... "


Lubanga trial: another mishap
by Joshua Rozenberg, Legal Editor - Daily Telegraph

"The senior trial lawyer in charge of the first case to be tried at the International Criminal Court has been taken off the case little more than a month before the trial is due to open ... "


Congolese warlord faces ICC charges amid setbacks to first trial
by Anthony Dworkin, Crimes of War Project

"The former Vice-President of the Democratic Republic of Congo appeared as a suspect before the International Criminal Court on July 4 after being arrested in Belgium a few weeks earlier. Bemba, who was the runner-up in DR Congo's presidential election in 2006, faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection with a conflict in the Central African Republic in
2002-2003 ... "


ICC orders release of Lubanga
by Sebastiaan Gottlieb & Thijs Bouwknegt, Radio Netherlands Worldwide

"On the eve of the tenth anniversary of the Rome Statute, judges at the International Criminal Court have decided to release the court's first-ever defendant, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo. The Congolese militia leader will remain in custody for the time being, since the prosecution has appealed against the decision. The decision to free Lubanga is a serious embarrassment for the prosecution ..."


Imposed justice and the need for sustainable peace in Uganda
Dr Chris Dolan, Refugee Law Project (pdf)

"More specifically, I want to make the point that, on its own, the ICC can never be regarded as bringing justice to war-affected countries, and that, if justice is to be done and seen to be done, it requires a far broader effort ... "


AU rejects Bashir Darfur charges
BBC News

"The African Union has called for the UN Security Council to suspend war crimes accusations against Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir over Darfur. The African foreign ministers said the request to charge Mr Bashir would jeopardise the peace process ... "


Diary from northern Uganda
by Owiny Lakaragic - IRIN Africa

"I have heard [LRA deputy leader Vincent] Otti on the radio saying he will not die alone, he will take us down with him. We don’t want to risk more war. So I’m begging the International Criminal Court to drop their case and let peace come to northern Uganda ... In Acholiland we have Mato oput and that’s what we want to use for the rebels. It’s the traditional ceremony we use for reconciliation. The elders of the two clans come together, one admits wrong-doing and then drinks the juice of a tree’s bitter roots. We come together, eat together, we slaughter a sheep and drink local beer together ..."


Why the ICC must stop impeding Juba process
Global Policy Forum

"Despite offering credible prospects for peace following twenty-one years of conflict in northern Uganda, the Juba peace negotiations are threatened by the possibility that the International Criminal Court (ICC) will not defer to local Ugandan mechanisms which are suitable for addressing issues of accountability. The ICC was created in part to contribute to the prevention of human rights abuses, but its failure to accommodate the peace talks might ironically contribute to moving Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels back into open conflict and reigniting the humanitarian catastrophe in northern Uganda ... "


Advocacy, the International Criminal Court and the conflict in Northern Uganda
by Tim Raby, Tearfund - Humanitarian Practice Network

"The role of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the conflict in Northern Uganda has been controversial from the moment the Chief Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, announced the start of its investigations in January 2004 ... "


Uganda: Give peace a chance, northern leaders tell ICC
IRINnews, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

"The decision by Interpol to issue wanted person's notices against several Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leaders will scuttle ongoing efforts to peacefully end the war in northern Uganda and may escalate the violence there, religious leaders in the war-affected region said on Friday ... "


ICC launches Central African Republic investigation
- Reuters

"The International Criminal Court's prosecutor launched an investigation on Tuesday into allegations of killing and rape in the Central African Republic during the armed conflict of 2002 and 2003.

The alleged crimes in the Central African Republic, one of the world's poorest countries which has suffered decades of instability, occurred during a conflict between the government and rebels, which peaked in 2002 and 2003 ... "


ICC in the dock: worrying signs that the international criminal court's approach to justice may be jeopardising peace in Africa
by Richard Dowden - Prospect

"The international criminal court (ICC) was set up in 2002 to prosecute individuals for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Some feared that its western-inspired, universalist idea of justice might come into conflict with local forms of law, jeopardising the process of reconciliation. Now that the court has started to flex its muscles—issuing its first warrants, in October 2005, against five leaders of the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda, and more recently making an arrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo and identifying suspects in Sudan—there are signs that these fears may turn out to have been justified ... "


ICC Arrests Jean-Pierre Bemba
by Brice Blondel - HDPT-CAR

"Jean-Pierre Bemba, charged by the ICC for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Central African Republic, was arrested on 24 May in the suburbs of Brussels, Belgium.

Mr. Bemba is chairman of the Mouvement de Libération du Congo (MLC), an armed group which intervened in the 2002-2003 armed conflict in Central African Republic (CAR) ..."


Sudan and the International Criminal Court: a guide to the controversy
by Alex de Waal - OpenDemocracy.net

"The request to indict Sudan's president on charges of genocide and war crimes in Darfur is a historic moment in international justice. But is it wise, and will it bring peace in Sudan nearer or destabilise the country further? ... "


The ICC's Bashir Indictment: Law Against Peace
by Rony Brauman - World Politics Review

"On July 14, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), presented "evidence showing that Sudanese President, Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir committed the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur." The motives of the Sudanese head of state were "above all, political," the prosecutor declared. He used the "alibi" of counterinsurgency in order to try "to end the history of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa people." In fact, "his intent was genocide."

Let us leave aside the assessment that Gen. al-Bashir's motives were "political" in nature, which seems to constitute an aggravating factor in the prosecutor's view, and instead concentrate on the recent history of the notion of genocide ... "


New world court faces unexpected trials in Uganda
Global Policy Forum

"Analysts say [the ICC] expected local applause for launching an investigation last July into atrocities by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and its elusive leader Joseph Kony. But one year on -- with arrest warrants for the self-styled mystic and five of his commanders expected to be issued next month -- the probe remains controversial, and Ugandans are divided over what impact it will have on the war ... "


Uganda: Mixed feelings about ICC warrants
Global Policy Forum

"Civilians forced into refugee camps by the rebel LRA group are divided on whether prosecution or amnesty is the better option ... "


Will ICC prosecutions threaten Ugandan peace process?

"As the International Criminal Court seeks the arrest of top rebel leaders in northern Uganda, some of those involved in the peace process say it is not the right time for prosecutions ... "


ICC indictments to affect northern peace efforts, says mediator
IRINnews - UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

"The decision by the International Criminal Court's (ICC) to issue arrest warrants for the leaders of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has changed the dynamics of ongoing peace talks between the Uganda government and the rebels, the mediator said. "You can no longer talk to the LRA as before, the dynamics have changed. The situation is different and I would not like to talk to the LRA now because the ICC has not yet given me details of the warrant," Betty Bigombe told IRIN on Monday ... "


ICC under fire over Uganda probe
Global Policy Forum

"By intervening in northern Uganda's 18-year civil war, the International Criminal Court is in danger of perpetuating it, according to NGOs and international bodies concerned about the court's fledgling investigation ... "



Crisis in Darfur: Alex de Waal Explains the History
The Hub, 3 September 2008

Click here to watch


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