The International Court and the accusations against it

– Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have wondered why African leaders accuse the International Court of Justice of being biased against Africans. They accuse  the court of  prosecuting mostly Africans than people of other races. While this may seem true considering the number of Africans that had ended up in the Court, however, i think it is the failure of the judicial systems in many African countries that had allowed the Court to step in and demand justice for victims of human right abuses in these countries. The political will of demanding justice for victims of war crime in many African countries is lacking. For example, in Kenya, despite the many opportunities given to the Kenyan judiciary to prosecute those behind the killings in the post election violence, the system failed in its responsibilities, forcing the International Court to step in and demand justice for families of victims.

Despite what some African leaders  say against the International Court, I think the court should be commended for the few prosecutions it had achieved in recent times. Besides,  those so far convicted by the court have been shown to bear responsibilities for the atrocities that they had committed, by the Court. By criticizing the Court, are these leaders indirectly asking the Court to look away from the atrocities against civilians on the African continent? Many African leaders are not true respecters of human rights, perhaps they fear that the court could come after them in future and this explains why they detest the International Court and accuse it of being anti-African.Could the African Union have ever demanded that the likes of Bosco, Charles and other perpetrators of genocides and abusers of human rights on the African continent be brought to book? There is need for The African Union to work to strength democratic institutions on the continent. They should rather, support the efforts of the International court, rather than strengthen current and future abusers of human right on the continent.

To accommodate the worries of African leaders, the International Court should also its stretch nets on other countries and persecute human right violators there. A case in point is Syria and the regime there. One can hear the daily cries for justice amongst victims of atrocities in that country; crimes committed by the United States army in Iraq should also be investigated. Where there is war, there are human right abuses. Human right is for all people and concentration of the efforts of the International Court should not dwell on the African continent alone. The International Court should also remember that it holds responsibilities to all peoples of the world. It should not allow the institution to be used by world powers, particularly western powers as tool to witch hunt other political leaders  or major players in other countries who have refused to do the bidding of some of the world powers. Politicizing the activities of the Court would in deed strengthen the impression amongst people that the Court is a political tool of oppression for some powerful counties.

‘Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe’- Frederick Douglass

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