Monday, November 04, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Zimbabwe to back Africa ICC pull-out
10/10/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter I AP

JUSTICE minister Emmerson Mnangagwa said Thursday Zimbabwe will back any calls for Africa to break ties with the International Criminal Court (ICC) at an African Union summit this weekend in Ethiopia.

Speaking during World Death Penalty Day commemorations in Harare, Mnangagwa accused the ICC of humiliating African leaders by targeting them, while letting off Western leaders over conflicts in Iraq and Libya.

Zimbabwe signed the Rome Statute that created the court, but has not ratified it under domestic law and is not bound by its obligations, he said.

“History has taught us that colonialism was by Europe colonizing us. Now we are independent we need to go to Europe to be tried there by the same former colonial powers, pasi nazvo,” the minister declared.

“We are not even debating it (ICC protocol) I don’t think it will see the light of the day in terms of ratification.”
Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa added, wants African countries to “stand up and stamp their authority” against ICC bias, he added.

“Western leaders are left free but in Africa, look at Kenya, they are taking president Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy who were elected by the people of Kenya; hauling them to go and face trials (at the Hague).”

Kenya’s president and deputy face allegations for violence that led to the deaths of more than 1,000 people after disputed elections in 2007-08.

The 54-member African Union will meet Friday and through the weekend, and may discuss severing ties with the court, Mnangagwa said.

“We now realise, that instrument is being used against African leaders more than it is being used against cowboys like George Bush, Tony Blair,” He said.

“George Bush went to Iraq on the pretext that there were arms of mass destruction and yet I don’t believe that the CIA and the FBI did not know that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq but they rode on that false pretext.

“They hanged Saddam Hussein of Iraq after that … the same thing happened in Libya to Muammar Gaddaffi who was killed again by the same gangs just because these countries have oil but no one is taking Bush no one is taking Tony Blair and other similar category of leaders.”

“In the lifespan of the ICC, it has not been playing fair with regards to who goes there and who doesn’t … it is biased and why should we go to Europe to be tried?”

Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan this week defended the ICC during a peace lecture, South African Press Association reported.

Speaking in South Africa, Annan said if African victims could get justice in their own countries, there would be no need for the ICC to step in, it reported.

“On a continent that has experienced deadly conflict, gross violations of human rights, even genocide, I am surprised to hear critics ask whether the pursuit of justice might obstruct the search for peace,” he said.

The ICC has sentenced former Liberian leader Charles Taylor to 50 years imprisonment while Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir faces two International Criminal Court indictments.

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