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ICC tasked to review processes in trial of African heads of states

FILE PHOTO: Linda Bore from the International Law institute- African Centre.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | The International Criminal Court (ICC) has been tasked to review trials of sitting heads of state and investigations processes.

This came up during discussions on the ICC and Africa, a complicated relationship at the Geopolitics Conference at Makerere University.

Speaking at the conference, Linda Bore from the International Law institute- African Centre for Legal excellence noted that one of the greatest criticism at the ICC is the trial of sitting heads of states which is not acceptable to the Independence of states.

She pointed out that trying Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Vice William Ruto in relation to their role in violence in elections, at a time when they are sitting heads of state was a big blow for the ICC.

She says attempts to try then Sudan President Omar al-Bashir whose country is not a member state was also another reason Africans think they are targeted, adding that Sudan is not even a member state to the Rome statute.

Bore also said the ICC does not have local people involved in their investigations, and international investigators do shallow investigating.

Sarah Kasande, of the International Center for transitional justice says that  the Genocide in Rwanda galvanized support for the ICC because people were getting away with impunity. Kasande says all cases at ICC involves people who have violated human rights and there is no debate against it.

She says however the involvement of the UN security council to influence who is reffered to the ICC is one of the biggest weakness of the court.

Maria Mabinty Kamara, the ICC outreach coordinator at the panel said the ICC is operating with full support of the member states, and ICC would not be possible without those states. She says Africa forms the single largest block of the Rome Statute.

Mabinty also told the conference that ICC is currently investigating 9 atrocious outside of Africa like in Georgia,Iraq,Palestine and Afghanistan among others. She says ICC is a court of last resort.

Dr Arne Wulff of the Konrad Adenuer Stiftung Rule of Law program, Sub Saharan Africa says African leaders fear the ICC because they are potential candidates. He says they should ensure the rule of law, instead of protecting their friends.

Christopher Okidi, a Democratic Party (DP) Youth Leader says as it appears, the ICC is a form of imperialism. He says the ICC is a political tool used by the top world leaders.

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