Leaders should not be wary of ICC
Posted Monday, September 30 2013 at 01:00
During the inauguration of president Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, President Museveni gave a key note address where he launched his now trade mark tirade against the International Criminal Court. Recently while addressing the UN in New York, he took a swipe at ICC saying the court should leave the trial of president Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang to Kenyans.
But why should African leaders be wary of ICC? First of all, the Rome convention that made a declaration to constitute this court put it in such a way that any nation’s subscription shall be voluntary. Secondly, all cases to this court are recommended by countries where crimes are committed. A classic example is Joseph Kony’s case that was recommended by Uganda. Bearing the above in mind, it is clear that ICC is a complementary court that is meant to offer justice where local courts have not been able to.
African presidents are on record for propagating information that the ICC is selective and that its execution of duties targets only African countries. This allegation is wrong because all those leaders so far indicted have had a pointer at crimes committed against humanity in their countries: Kony in Uganda, Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir in Sudan, etc.
“People who live in glass houses should not throw stones” so goes the old adage. Many African leaders use coercion to make their populace submit to them, amass wealth for self and their families, etc. They should, therefore, be ready to answer for crimes committed during their pursuit of egoistic self aggrandisement. If presidents from western countries had the same high affinity to self-aggrandisement, then there would be no reason why ICC would not take them on.
Ugandan Justices Julia Sebutinde and Daniel Nsereko have on different occasions come out to allay fears of African leaders reiterating that the ICC is impartial and will continue to be so.
What our leaders should do is desist from torture, rigging elections and oppression of the opposition. In doing this, they shall have protected themselves against ICC which they view as an enemy. William Shakespeare said, “The good that men do is interred within their bones but the bad lives after them”. In other words, we should all be ready to account for our deeds.
Chris. M. Kato,
CMK Events Solutions