Malawi CSOs urges President Mutharika not to bow down to AU demands on pull out of International Criminal Court

A consortium of human rights civil society organisations has asked President Peter Mutharika not to bow down to demands by African Union to pull out of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Kasaila : Malawi not pulling out of ICC

Robert Mkwezalamba, the chaiperson of Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) says the reasons advanced by the African Union are not pertinent enough to force Malawi out of ICC.

“Africa, including Malawi, has more problems it needs to focus on than the ICC,” he said.

He said it was not true that the ICC targets African leaders, saying in most cases, it has been Africans themselves who have handed over fellow Africans to the ICC.

Chancellor College Constitutional lawyer Edge Kanyongolo said the AU’s decision is motivated by interests of the political elite.

“If we withdraw from the ICC, where would the Africans who are victims of war crime and against humaanity go? Because we don’t have functioning alternatives, another aspect is that Africans in their respective countries propose this on their own democratically,” he said.

Foreign Affairs minister Francis Kasaira said the government is not pulling out of the ICC.

He said a decision had already been made to ignore the call from AU to pull out of the ICC.

The AU passed a resolution on Tuesday in Addis Ababa for a mass withdrawal of member states.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs ministry issued a statement which says Malawi isconvinced that the best thing to do is to agitate for change from within ICC.

“We believe for this to be achieved, there is need for many African countries to remain parties to the Rome statute. It should be appreciated that it is about numbers and the fewer the ICC African member states, the more difficult it will be to change things,” reads the statement in part.

South Africa and Burundi have decided to withdraw, accusing the ICC of undermining their sovereignty and unfairly targeting Africans, accusations ICC officials vehemently deny.

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