THE Sierra Leone Special Court sitting in The Hague recently convicted, the former Liberian president, Charles Taylor for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
This is almost like colonialism in the 18th and (19th Century of Britain and France). While some people have commended the court, others are skeptical about the ability to strike a balance for all criminals on earth.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was embraced with enthusiasm by a wide range of people, when it came into being on July 1, 2002. However, the court has turned to be of exclusive focus on Africa. No wonder Robin Cook the former British foreign minister said, before he died, if I may say so, this is not a court set up to bring to book prime ministers of the United Kingdom or presidents of the US.
On March 11, 2003 the ICC was officially established as a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes of aggression.
To make it worse, the court can only prosecute crimes committed after July 1, 2002, the date the Rome Statute entered into force: European governors and presidents that participated in imperialism, plunder and pillage of the African continent in the two centuries never committed any crime and cannot even pay reparations.
The American crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq and other areas are not crimes, after all the US has not ratified the treaty. Under president George Bush Walker, America increased its hostility to the ICC, passing American service members protection Act of 2002 which became unofficially as “Hague Invasion Act .”
This law threatens American lawyers with legal action should they ever work on a case which could lead to a US citizen being put before ICC. Therefore, Taylor and others who have committed crimes should know that this court is for Africans.
ICC will continue to pick the weak people, take them to The Hague and hang them. ICC has turned a blind eye to self-evident human rights abuses in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza; they are just busy catching small rats. ICC has been selective on human rights abuses it chooses to pursue making it a mockery of its claims to bring about an end to impunity.
Lastly, on July 3, 2009, the African Union, although a lame duck, resolved not to cooperate with ICC regarding the indictment of Sudanese president Omar Bashir.
The writer is a Pan Africanist