New York: Hailing the success of the self-assessment mechanism agreed among African leaders a decade ago, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said the peer review process has not only fostered more principled leadership and constructive national dialogue but has opened up more space for citizens to participate in the decisions affecting them. “The APRM [African Peer Review Mechanism] has deepened a democratic political culture among African Governments,” said Mr. Ban, opening a High-Level panel co-organized by the UN Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, and the African Union on Africa’s innovation in governance over the 10 years of the review’s implementation.
Dar es Salaam: Recently, the African Union called a special session to address the African position with relation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and particularly, the on-going case against the President of the Republic of Kenya and his Deputy. At this meeting, it was, inter alia, alleged that the ICC has been targeting African countries and avoiding other who should be prosecuted as well. It was eventually agreed that no sitting head of state should be arraigned in any court. The relevant authorities should wait until the ruler has completed his or her tenure. This is an interesting proposition because Africa does not only have feudal monarchs with life tenures, but also ‘democratically’ elected presidents who have amended the constitutions of their countries to allow them to rule forever. In such a situation, how long will ICC and victims of serious violations of human rights wait? Forever?
The brutal crackdown in late September by Sudan's security forces and militias, resulted in over 200 deaths and hundreds of protesters wounded and arrested, according to Sudanese and international human rights organisations. The largest anti-government demostrations in many years saw protesters who sought a reversal of the government's decision to reduce fuel subsidies. The incident also resulted in the detention of a number of political opponents, a crackdown on journalists, and restrictions on freedom of expression and organisation, thus violating the fundamental and constitutional rights of the Sudanese people. Notwithstanding the crackdown of Omar al-Bashir's brutal regime, the African Union (AU) has failed to act according to the requirements of its founding documents, including the AU'S Constitutive Act of 2002 and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
New York: Emerging details of what transpired at the just-concluded African Union (AU) extra-ordinary summit at the weekend in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, have revealed the role played by President Goodluck Jonathan in averting what some Nigerian diplomats now describe as a Kenyan coup against the International Criminal Court (ICC). While the AU Assembly of Heads of States just managed to agree to requesting the United Nations Security Council to ensure that the ICC defers its cases against sitting African heads of states, diplomatic sources at the meeting revealed that Kenya had wished AU withdraw from ICC or at least threaten to do so. It was learnt that the proposal was tabled both at the ministerial and heads of states levels of the AU summit in Addis Ababa.
Addis Ababa: The Assembly, takes note of the Progress Report of the Commission on the Implementation of Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.482(XXI) on the International Jurisdiction, International Justice and the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Presentation made by the Republic of Kenya as well as the recommendations of the Executive Council thereon;
Nairobi: A clash between French-speaking and English-speaking African countries sunk a move to withdraw Africa from the International Criminal Court in Addis Ababa at the weekend. A combination of factors - including a division between Anglophone and Francophone countries and endless conflicts in the continent - put paid to efforts by some countries to have the African Union announce its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. They instead issued five demands to the ICC and its guarantor, the United Nations Security Council, to meet and pave the way for new relations with the court on crimes against humanity and high level impunity.
Addis Ababa: The African Union has decided to set up a contact group of the Executive Council to undertake consultations with the members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), in particular, its five permanent members, with a view to engaging with the UNSC on all concerns of the AU on its relationship with the ICC, including the deferral of the Kenyan and Sudanese cases, in order to obtain their feedback. This should be done before the expected beginning of the trial of the Kenyan President at the International Criminal Court.
Addis Ababa: President Goodluck Jonathan has declared that Nigeria is disappointed with the bias the International Criminal Court (ICC), has shown by ignoring the request for deferral for prosecution in a number of cases by the African Union (AU). Jonathan stated this at the Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of States and Government of African Union, to discuss Africa's relationship with the ICC, especially issues concerning the trial of President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya. President Jonathan said the ICC, if at all it is concerned about the implied allegation of bias, has not taken enough proactive steps to address it and allay the fears of concerned stakeholders, adding "we think it should".
Addis Ababa: Chair of the African Union, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, Chair of the Commission of the African Union, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Colleagues Head of State and Government, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen. It gives me special pleasure to join your Excellencies at this Special Summit, where we have assembled to reflect on very significant matters relating to the welfare and destiny of our nations and peoples. I thank you for the honour of addressing you today, because as it happens, I crave my brother and sister Excellencies' views on some issues.
African leaders behind the move to extract the continent from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court are effectively seeking a licence to kill, maim and oppress their people without consequences. They are saying that African leaders should not allow the interests of the people to get in the way of their personal ambitions. Being held to account interferes with their ability to act with impunity to achieve their objectives. Those who get in their way – their victims – should remain faceless and voiceless.