Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


ICC chief slams critics after AU attack

29 May 2013, 13:06

The Hague - The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor hit back at critics Tuesday, a day after the African Union accused the tribunal of racism.

Fatou Bensouda said the critics were defending "perpetrators" of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The prosecutor did not mention any particular group. But her comments came only a day after an African Union summit said the ICC was targeting the continent on the basis of race.

"We all know who the voices are," Bensouda told a meeting at United Nations headquarters when asked by an African diplomat about "voices" questioning ICC tactics.

"The voices are those who are trying to protect the perpetrators of these crimes. They are not the voices who are supporting the victims of these crimes," said Bensouda, who is from Gambia.

The ICC is currently facing mounting diplomatic pressure over charges of crimes against humanity filed against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto linked to political unrest in 2008 when neither were in office.

An African Union summit on Monday called for the ICC charges to be halted. Kenya has asked the UN Security Council to "terminate" the case.

"We should not take what ICC is doing to turn it on its head," Bensouda said at the UN meeting on enforced disappearances organized by France and Argentina.

"The true victims of the crimes are the victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, not those who perpetrate them. And now we see that that those voices, what they are all trying to do is protect those who perpetrate the crimes."

"I think this is an insult to the victims," she added.

"I think this should not be happening and anybody who is concerned about addressing crimes of this nature -- against the thousands and thousands and thousands of victims, African victims -- should be concerned about what is happening right now," she told the UN meeting.

Bensouda vowed that the ICC would "continue to be independent, to continue to be impartial, to apply the law strictly without any political or other considerations."

African governments often express bitterness that all ICC investigations target the continent.

But nearly all of the eight investigations -- from Uganda to Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali -- were referred by the African countries themselves. Forty-three African countries have signed the ICC's founding Rome Statute and 34 have ratified it. This makes Africa the most heavily represented region in the court membership.

Tiina Intelmann, president of the 122-country assembly of ICC member states, acknowledged that the perceived "Africa-only" focus of investigations has created difficulties for the court in dealings with African states.

"Let us not forget, however, that the current focus on the African situations also means a focus on African victims," Intelmann said in a commentary.

A trust fund set up by the ICC statute has helped about 80,000 victims of "atrocity crimes."

"It is fair to say that without the activities of that fund, all those African victims would have received little or no assistance at all," Intelmann added.


Join in the conversation on our Facebook page. Also get the latest news by following us on Twitter.


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Types of men that are a waste of ...

Most women end up heartbroken because they were trying to convince the wrong man to be in a relationship/ marriage. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Cheating is hardwork!

Cheating, although enjoyable by the person doing it initially, it gets to a point they start realizing that it was never even worth it. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Dating that one person that socie...

Works at a massage parlour. Works at Millionaires Club (that one on Baricho road) - you know the ones I am talking about. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
What do men mean when they say th...

As much as men think they are the ones confused by relationships, they have a better idea of it than most women actually do. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM rebels sweat in Kisii as Oran...

ODM rebels are sweating in Kisii after the Orange Party won by elections despite concerted efforts by the ruling Jubilee Party to win the elections. Read more...