Africa must quit ICC: Zim


HARARE – Zimbabwe is cheer-leading its African counterparts mulling disengaging from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The AU will hold an extraordinary summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, tomorrow to review Africa’s continued participation in the court.

This follows fierce lobbying by Kenya, which wants the AU to withdraw en bloc from the international court amid growing anger on the continent over its perceived bias.

The court is prosecuting Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, on charges of orchestrating ethnic violence after the elections in 2007.

More than 1 000 people were killed in the bloodshed. The court has been ratified by 121 countries, 34 of them in Africa.

Zimbabwe has refused to ratify the court.

Joey Bimha, Foreign Affairs secretary, yesterday told the Daily News Zimbabwe will attend the summit with a view to pushing other countries on the continent to abandon the ICC which he said was being abused by “neo-colonialists”.

“As a country we are happy that finally our African peers have found sense in why we refused to sign the Rome statutes which created the ICC — it is because of its provisions that are against African nations,” Bimha said.

“We did not accede to the Rome statute because it was against our sovereignty, and the president is attending to give guidance to other countries on why they should leave it.

“These countries acceded to the provisions of the Rome statute in good faith, only to realise that it is now being used by western powers to destabilise their operations and independence.”

Many African leaders have branded the ICC a “neo-colonialist” institution that only targets Africans, prompting the debate on a possible departure from the ICC.

The Hague-based court was set up in 2002 to try the world’s worst crimes, and countries voluntarily sign up to join.

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