According to Kofi Annan, the exodus of African nations from the international criminal court must be stopped or the most heinous crimes will be allowed to go unpunished.
Kofi Annan is one of the pioneers of the ICC- Annan played a key role in the creation of the court when he was UN secretary general.
At least 3 African countries this year have declared their intention to pull out from ICC.
Not long ago, Russia pulled out completely from the international court as there was heated calls to investigate him for the horrid state of Aleppo, Syria.
Former UN Sec. Gen. Kofi Annan has said that the rate at which countries are pulling out is disturbing. He says that this will pose a fertile ground for the nations in question to perpetrate more crimes and go scot free without paying for the crimes or at least cautioned back to order.
It happens that African countries who have pulled out of ICC have controversial leaders.
“Most of the continent’s democratic governments stand by the ICC. I stand by the ICC, because the most heinous crimes must not go unpunished.”
Africa, as a continent, has expressed worry that only countries in the continent seems to be probe targets. Out of the 10 cases handled this year by the court, 9 involved African leaders.
Many have accused the ICC of being one-sided and dependent on power nations of the world.
Burundi, Gambia and South Africa says they would no longer recognize the court’s jurisdiction and announced their intention to quit.
Kofi Annan maintains his stand with the ICC, saying that the statute will hep check the excesses of nations. He cited the Rwandan civil war as an example.
“Memories of the horrors of the Rwandan genocide were still fresh in our minds. In fact, the first signatory of the treaty was an African country, Senegal. Africa remains the single largest regional bloc, with 34 states party to the Rome statute out of 124.”
He also clarifies that out of the 9 cases to be handled by the ICC, 8 were requested by the people.
“Of the nine investigations on the African continent, eight were requested by African states. Six African states referred their own situation to the ICC, and African states voted in support of the UN security council referrals on Darfur and Libya.”
“Kenya was the only case in Africa opened independently by the court, but it enjoyed the enthusiastic support of a majority of Kenyans. They wanted justice for the 1,300 people killed and hundreds of thousands displaced in election-related violence.”