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South Africa Refuses to Kiss the ICC Ring

Godfather-Ring-KissBy Shawn Macomber Lawfare Tyranny

The International Criminal Court’s arbitrary deadline for South Africa to explain its decision not to arrest Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir during a June meeting of the African Union came and went this week. And, despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth of the ICC and its fair-weather allies, the South African government refuses to back down from its position that arresting the head of a state that is not party to the Rome Statute is far more problematic than the Court prefers to make it out to be.

Here is an excerpt from the official statement of the South African Department of International Relations and Co-operation on the matter:

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Obama’s Policy of Leading from Behind Leaves Africa Behind

by George Landrith     •     Townhall

Obama SmirkHaving just returned from his Africa visit last month, many of the President’s supporters in the US have described the visit as an unqualified success. But the truth is like his lack of engagement in the Middle East, the former Eastern Bloc and ASIA, the consequences of the President’s inattention to Africa is there for all to see. And South Sudan is a shining example. In 2011, the people of South Sudan agreed to become independent of Sudan, a reprehensibly brutal failed state. South Sudan had the support of the international community and along with its oil resources she had high hopes that her people could be lifted out of poverty.

But in two short years a civil war began once President Salva Kiir sacked his Vice President, Riek Machar, whose political ambitions and pocket-lining had become too great to bear.

As with virtually all-things Sudanese, the conflict cleaves along tribal lines rich in distrust – Kiir is Dinka; Machar is Nuer – and the brutality is hard to fathom. Now some 2 million South Sudanese are displaced, food and aid are in short supply, and the future of a nation stands in doubt. Continue reading

Amnesty International Should Rethink Its ICC Love


By Shawn Macomber

The 2014/2015 Amnesty International Report declares “a roadmap towards silencing all guns in Africa must be embraced and driven forwards.”

This, Amnesty naturally and sincerely believes, will require “a far more robust, consistent and coherent approach” — all well and good so far as it goes…right up until the storied institution cites the persistently inconsistent, utterly incoherent International Criminal Court as one of its preferred primary arbiters of justice:

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Has the ICC Failed Africans?

icc 3 By Ibtihal Khidir

“The Chamber noted factors including the Prosecution’s admission that the evidentiary basis remains insufficient to support a conviction and the Prosecution’s concession that it remains speculative whether the information sought in the cooperation request would, even if obtained, be sufficient to support the charges…”

So reads a statement issued by the International Criminal Court Trial Chamber shortly after the Court’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda backed away from its pursuit of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The term “Lawfare,” as defined by the Lawfare Project, “denotes the use of the law as a weapon of war, or more specifically, the abuse of the law and legal systems for strategic political or military ends.”

Could there be a better description of the International Criminal Court’s ambiguous and selective prosecutions, particularly in Africa?

Does anyone seriously doubt there are open-and-shut cases that could be more effectively brought against nations outside Africa if those nations lacked powerful friends and benefactors? Is Kenya seriously on par with, oh, North Korea?

“I supported the court at first because I like discipline,” Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni said. “I don’t want people to err without accountability…but they have turned it into a vessel for oppressing Africa again so I’m done with that court. I won’t work with them again.”

The hands of all African leaders are not free of blood, of course, yet many Africans are beginning to see the ICC less as a fair and lawful entity than a club of cynics arbitrarily imposing its operational and political agenda.

By failing to establish itself as an institution of credibility, and using its own yardstick and political motives to promote a so-called justice, the ICC fails Africans as well.

Obama Fetes the Dictators

The president’s Africa summit brought some of the continent’s worst kleptocrats to Washington.

by Peter Roff     •     US News

obama_31Over the past week, President Barack Obama and the United States have played host to a bevy of African leaders as part of an international summit. It seems a little out of the ordinary for them to come here instead of Obama going there, but one would hope the majesty of the capital city would have an impact on their outlook.

That’s because Washington, modeled as it is in so many ways on ancient Greece, was designed and planned to be a living homage to the democratic traditions the Founding Fathers borrowed from the Greeks, incorporated into the city’s architectural framework as a reminder of the origins of our political system. Continue reading

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