Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister Francis Katsaira has told parliament that Malawi will not join the mass withdrawal of African countries who are pulling out from International Criminal Court (ICC) designed to prosecute those who commit the gravest atrocities.
The Hague-based ICC, launched at the turn of the century as an ambitious effort to bring international justice to states around the world, has been buffeted by a series of blows, including rising criticism from African countries that say the ICC is biased against them.
The African Union annual heads of state of summit in Addis Ababa on Tuesday which was attended by Malawian President Peter Mutharika resolved that there should be a co-ordinated withdrawal unless the ICC was reformed.
But Kasaila said Malawi will instead be part of the African countries that are pushing for radical changes at the court.
“In as far as government is concerned, its position has not changed. The postion is the one that we communicated to the general public and it is that Malawi, as a founding State Party, will remain and fight for reform in the ICC from within the ICC,” said Kasaila.
He added: “ It should further be acknowledged, that in as much as any decisions are made by consensus and a vote if necessary as was in this case, there are some countries which agree with the Malawi position while others do not.
“Government respects such sovereign view and positions. Government will continue to observe developments on this matter. We will continue to be involved in the discussions and consult other stakeholders before making any other decision.”
The ICC and global justice:
- Came into force in 2002
- The Rome Statute that set it up has been ratified by 123 countries, but the US is a notable absence
- It aims to prosecute and bring to justice those responsible for the worst crimes – genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes
- In the court’s 14-year history it has only brought charges against Africans.