Conflict zone "Africa feels targeted by the ICC"

The president said the world's judicial body must be willing to take on board the “concerns” of Africa if it wants to be viewed fairly by the continent.

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President John Dramani Mahama has indicated that Africa is suspicious of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The president in his part believes the world's judicial body must be willing to take on board the “concerns” of Africa if it wants to be viewed fairly by the continent.

The ICC is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague in the Netherlands. It has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

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Mr Mahama speaking on ‘Conflict Zone’ on Germany-based DW TV, he stated that although Africa has signed onto the Rome statute, it feels that the ICC is unfairly targeting African leaders.

“I believe that if people are guilty of crimes against humanity, they must be prosecuted.

“…There is a disagreement between the African union and the ICC. These are two recognised international organisations. You cannot take the opinion of the ICC and leave the African Union but I do believe in Justice,” he stated.

 

He added that, “The ICC is useful and several African leaders have appeared before them and I think that the ICC is still relevant and still prosecuting cases of human rights abuses. Charles Taylor has appeared before it but Africa has made its concerns known to the international community and to the ICC.

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“...The ICC serves a purpose and I guess that we must take the concerns of Africa on board, Africa feels targeted whether rightly or wrongly; it’s like African leaders are the only people arraigned before it and I think the African union, ICC and the UN must discuss it”.

The ICC began functioning on July 1 2002 and it's intended to complement existing national judicial systems.

The ICC may therefore only exercise its jurisdiction when certain conditions are met, such as when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the United Nations Security Council or individual states refer investigations to the Court.

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