ICC Has Disappointed Many Africans,Says President Jonathan



Jonathan-news 600Many African are not happy with the International Criminal Court ,ICC,says Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan.In his statement at the extraordinary session of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Jonathan said “ the refusal of the International Criminal Court to accede to the requests by our member-states for the deferral of the cases involving the President of Sudan, and now, the President and Deputy President of Kenya has left many of us in the African continent disappointed.”

Giving a background to the disappointment Jonathan said“the Constitutive Act of our Union explicitly prohibits war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity with clear sanctions for violations. I am convinced that our Union and the International Criminal Court are united in our principles and objectives on these matters.

“This is why the profound dissatisfaction that has been expressed about the Court’s relationship with Africa deserves the special attention that this Assembly is paying to it at this session.

“ It is also the reason why the refusal of the International Criminal Court to accede to the requests by our member-states for the deferral of the cases involving the President of Sudan, and now, the President and Deputy President of Kenya has left many of us in the African continent disappointed.

Read President Jonathan’s Address Below:

STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN AT THE EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF AFRICAN UNION HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT IN ADDIS ABABA, OCTOBER 12, 2013

Mr. Chairman,
Madam Chairperson of the Commission,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. I am pleased to participate in this meeting today on the subject of Africa’s relationship with the International Criminal Court.

Mr. Chairman,

2. While the work of the International Criminal Court is immensely useful for the achievement of a world without crimes against humanity, genocide and other acts of impunity, it would be fair to say that in Africa today, the wave of democratization has engendered greater commitment to the rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights.

3. Indeed, the Constitutive Act of our Union explicitly prohibits war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity with clear sanctions for violations. I am convinced that our Union and the International Criminal Court are united in our principles and objectives on these matters.

4. This is why the profound dissatisfaction that has been expressed about the Court’s relationship with Africa deserves the special attention that this Assembly is paying to it at this session.

5. It is also the reason why the refusal of the International Criminal Court to accede to the requests by our member-states for the deferral of the cases involving the President of Sudan, and now, the President and Deputy President of Kenya has left many of us in the African continent disappointed.

6. Many are concerned that the African Union’s principled position that African leaders should not be targeted by the ICC has been ignored, and that the ICC, despite its universal jurisdiction, seems to be devoting unusual energy and enthusiasm to the prosecution of cases from Africa, compared to cases from other parts of the world.

7. If the Court is concerned about this implied allegation of bias; it has not, in our opinion, taken enough pro-active steps to address it and allay the fears of concerned stakeholders. We think it should.

Mr. Chairman,

8. In our deliberations today, we must not lose sight of the legal identity of our Union relative to the obligations of States Parties of the Rome Statute. Thirty four (34) African countries, including Nigeria, are signatories to this Statute.

9.Given that not all members of the Assembly are signatories to it, it is important that we balance our interests in a manner that enables signatory and non-signatory members of our Union to express solidarity with one another on matters arising from their obligations. In this regard, it is important that we maintain our unity and speak with one voice on Kenya.

10. It will also be useful to point out the limitations of the Rome Statute, in order to strengthen the ICC and reposition it for greater fairness and equity in the discharge of its noble responsibilities.This Assembly should urgently call its members in the Assembly of States Party of the Statute, to mobilize requisite support to achieve reforms in the shortest time possible.

11. Our position is that certain Articles of the Rome Statute are of grave concern to Africa. In particular, Article 27 which denies immunity to all persons without regard to customary international law, conventions and established norms, must be amended .

12. Similarly, Articles 63 and 98 need close scrutiny and review. There is also the need to align Articles 27 and 98 with a view to bringing them in conformity with the tenets of customary international law, conventions and norms.

Mr. Chairman,

13. In expressing my support for Kenya on its difficulties with the ICC, I will like to acknowledge that five years after the post-election violence of 2007, the people of Kenya have proven to the world that they are capable of expressing their sovereign wishes in a free, fair and credible manner in accordance with democratic norms and values.

14. This is a clear demonstration to the world that the people of Kenya are in the best position to determine their own future and deal with their past.

15. To further consolidate this, I would like to urge the Kenyan Parliament to hasten its consideration of the Report of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission to facilitate the implementation of its recommendations in order to accelerate the process of national healing.

16. What remains is for the international community, in particular, the ICC, to give the elected leaders of Kenya the space to discharge their mandate in meeting the aspirations and needs of their people.

17. I thank you.

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