While the rest of the world continues to mourn and worry about the death of about 300 African immigrants in the Mediterranean Sea, African leaders are instead holding a special summit to criticise the International Criminal Court, ICC for targeting African presidents.
Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta faces trial next month at The Hague, Netherlands for crimes against humanity committed during the post-election violence in 2007 that left over 1000 killed and about 30,000 displaced.
Uhuru narrowly won the this year’s presidential election in March, and his main rival Raila Odinga contested the results before the Supreme Court ruled to confirm his victory.
Kenyans celebrated and have remained peaceful all through, whereas Odinga who is supposed to be the last person to accept the results finally threw in the towel accepting Uhuru as the legitimate president.
However, since taking oath of office, Uhuru has been drumming support from his African peers and regional leaders to put pressure on ICC to shelve his case, thus raising eyebrows of his plea of not guilty on all the charges.
First, it was Kenyan parliament that unanimously voted for the withdrawal of Kenya’s signatory as one of the ICC member states.
Then it was a series of regional gatherings in East Africa accumulating to this African Union summit in Ethiopia with Uhuru’s trial, the cases of other African leaders awaiting justice and those issued warrant of arrest or being investigated top on the agenda.
Uhuru had previously appeared in The Hague and had promised to cooperate with the court as its carry out its investigations and proceedings, even before he became Kenya leader.
Last month, it was William Ruto, the deputy to Uhuru who was at The Hague before being given permission to return to Kenya following the terrorists’ attack at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi.
The new twist to try and defer the case simply with the alibi that the court or ICC has been targeting African leaders: is biased or race-hunting, is completely baseless, worrisome and unintelligent.
Although Kenyans have since accepted their differences and opted for peace, the families of those killed or wounded surely still want the truth.
Time for justice for all
ICC recently handed former Liberia President Charles Taylor a 50-year jail for his role in the war in Sierra Leone, which was welcomed back in Sierra Leone as Britain accepted to provide a place for his jail.
Laurent Gbagbo’s case is the next, which most people would be interested after he refused to quit power in a controversial UN organised election, resulting to mass killing and disorder.
To give justice just like peace a chance Uhuru most allow ICC to continue his case and clear the smoked screen or his name if he still claim innocent rather than try to be diplomatic, which is doing no good to his reputation nor his presidency.
AU should rather bother more about making the situations in most African countries to favourable so that people can make their dreams at home and not to be tempted to take on adventurous and dangerous routes to Europe as illegal immigrants.
AU member states must also take the blame of the recent disaster off the coast of Italy’s Island of Lampedusa and to collaborate with the European Union to address this recurrent problem.
Africa can only be a better place if scrupulous leaders who turn against their own people like Sudan’s Omer al Bashir are taken to The Hague to face the music.
If nobody is above the laws, then all these African leaders either still in power or not must take responsibilities of all the atrocities incurred under their rule and leadership.