AU says ICC discriminatory in dispensation of justice   2011-07-02 19:45:11 FeedbackPrintRSS

MALABO, July 2 (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) criticizes the International Criminal Court (ICC) for being discriminatory and carrying out selective dispensation of justice.

The 53-member organization said here at the end of the 17th Ordinary Session of the AU summit on Friday that whereas it does not condone impunity, recent developments have showed that The Hague-based court is only interested in trying Africans despite heinous crimes being committed elsewhere.

Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who is also the chairman of the AU, told reporters that heinous atrocities have been committed in Iraq, Gaza, Afghanistan, but no action has been taken by the ICC, while it is quick to issue arrest warrants for African leaders.

Jean Ping, chairperson of the AU Commission, said some of the Western powers like the U.S. pushing Africa to respect the ICC are not signatories to the Rome Statute that set up the court.

For instance, he said, the U.S. cannot allow its troops who commit heinous atrocities to be tried anywhere, but back home.

He pointed out that with such behavior, the country has no moral authority to tell Africa what to do.

"We are neither against justice nor against the court, we are against the way justice is being rendered. Why is that nobody else except Africans are being tried by this Court? This is the question we are asking ourselves," he said.

The latest African leader targeted by the court is Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who is facing arrest warrants for alleged atrocities committed in the ongoing crisis in his country where government troops are fighting rebels backed by NATO forces.

Sudanese leader Omar al Bashir was the first African leader to face the court's arrest warrants over alleged crimes committed in Darfur region in the western part of the country.

Bashir was followed by other officials from the Democratic Republic of Congo and recently six Kenyan officials who are accused of being the mastermind behind the country's 2008 post election violence that left about 1,000 people dead and hundreds of others homeless.

The AU in a draft resolution on Friday renewed its call for the UN Security Council to differ the Kenyan case.

It said the East African country under its new Constitution has the capacity to try the case home.

On Bashir, the AU said its request for the UN Security Council to differ the case must be brought back on the agenda of the Security Council.

"The Assembly .. reiterates its request to the UN Security Council and requests the African members of the UN Security Council to place the matter on its agenda of the Council," the draft resolution said.

On Libya, the AU said it shall not cooperate in the execution of the arrest warrants of Gaddafi saying that the warrants risk destroying efforts to find a political solution to the crisis in the country that has now sucked in international actors like NATO forces.

Editor: Fang Yang
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