ANC ‘instructs’ Zuma to back Africa’s withdrawal from ICC

posted in: Africa

President Jacob Zuma


Cape Town, South Africa – South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) may have instructed President Jacob Zuma to back the clamour for the bloc withdrawal of African nations from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Ahead of the Extraordinary African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, on the ICC on Saturday, ANC National Executive Committee said it “instructs the President and his delegation not to disappoint the continent with this issue”.

ANC asked President Zuma to join other African countries who allege bias against the ICC, which was established as a permanent, independent institution to prosecute individuals
who have orchestrated and executed the most serious crimes of international concern, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

The summit is expected to take a decisive action on the ICC controversy, against the background of allegation by African nations that The Hague-based court is witch-hunting Africans.

PANA reports that all the cases currently before the ICC are from Africa, and the court has yet to investigate any genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes outside the continent.

Some 34 AU members have ratified the Rome Statute, which established ICC.

Meanwhile, analysts and global personalities have warned Africa against withdrawing en masse from the ICC.

Delivering the annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa on Monday, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan rejected accusations that the ICC was targeting Africa, saying “the (indicted) leaders are protecting themselves and no one speaks for the victims.”

Also commenting on the issue, a former Africa Press Officer for Amnesty International, Katy Pownall, wrote: ”Any withdrawal from the ICC would send the wrong signal about Africa’s commitment to protect and promote human rights and reject impunity. All of which are values central to the Act upon which the African Union itself was founded.”