order http://davepoulin.ca/wp-admin/includes/class-bulk-theme-upgrader-skin.php geneva;”>“The majority of the Court’s current investigations were initiated following referrals or requests from the African States in question, http://ciencialili.org/libraries/gantry/classes/gantry/loader.php ” ICC said in a statement seen by Chimpreports on Thursday.
“The ICC operates strictly within the mandate and legal framework created by the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the Court, and cannot take political factors into account. Decisions are taken independently on the basis of the law and the available evidence and are not based on regional or ethnic considerations,” said the Hague-based Court.
“Judges are the guarantors of the fairness of proceedings before the Court, from the authorisation of investigations to the confirmation or non-confirmation of charges and decisions on guilt or innocence.”
African leaders sitting at the AU Summit in Addis Ababa last weekend blasted ICC for shutting its ears and eyes on criticism of bias and politicizing justice.
Rwanda President Paul Kagame joined his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni in ratcheting up rhetoric against the Court, condemning the instrumentalisation of international justice for political interests which continues to undermine peace processes as well as the sovereignty of African nations.
“We cannot support an ICC that condemns crimes committed by some and not others or imposes itself on democratic processes or the will of sovereign people. Such a court cannot facilitate reconciliation which is a vital precursor to peace,” said Kagame
While highlighting the importance of fighting impunity, President Kagame urged all present to stand up against the use of international justice as a political tool:
“It is evident that political bias, control and flawed methodology are being deployed in the name of International Justice. Yet ICC proponents are ostensibly deaf to the increasingly vocal criticism against the court’s bias towards Africa.”
He added: “This is not acceptable and Africa must stand up to it and refuse to be intimidated or bribed into silence and inaction on this matter.”
The ICC has in recent years come under fire for selectively targeting African leaders and shutting their eyes to atrocities committed by western politicians especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Speaking at Kenyatta’s inauguration in April, Museveni saluted Kenya for the “rejection of the blackmail by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and those who seek to abuse this institution for their own agenda.”
“I was one of those that supported the ICC because I abhor impunity. However, the usual opinionated and arrogant actors using their careless analysis have distorted the purpose of that institution,” said Museveni.
“They are now using it to install leaders of their choice in Africa and eliminate the ones they do not like. What happened here in 2007 was regrettable and must be condemned,” he emphasized.
The ICC said it acknowledges and respects the African Union’s important role as the continent’s main regional organization.
“As an impartial international judicial institution, the ICC, including its independent Office of the Prosecutor, strives to maintain good working relationships with all relevant international and regional bodies, including the African Union,” the statement added.
The court also noted the ICC’s relationship with Africa is all the more important considering that 34 African countries are States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC.
“It must be recalled that cases before the ICC are not only about the suspects or the accused; they also concern the thousands of victims affected by the events under the ICC’s jurisdiction, many of whom are represented in the various proceedings with the help of legal assistance provided by the Court,” said ICC.
“The ICC does not replace national jurisdictions; it only complements them when necessary. The Rome Statute defines the criteria for deciding whether cases should be tried before the ICC or in a national judicial system, and this determination is made through a judicial process by independent judges of the ICC.
In all proceedings before the ICC, suspects as well as concerned States have the possibility to address these matters in accordance with the Rome Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
While the Rome Statute gives the United Nations (UN) Security Council powers of referral and deferral in relation to the ICC, the exercise of these powers by the Security Council is governed by the UN Charter. The ICC is autonomous from the United Nations and does not participate in the Security Council’s decision-making.”
However, the court observed, once the Security Council refers a situation to the ICC, the investigation and proceedings that may arise from that situation are governed by the Rome Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the ICC and are not influenced by the Security Council or any other external body.
The ICC Presidency stressed that the ICC is an independent institution that has a specific, judicial mandate created by States determined to end impunity and to contribute to the prevention of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole.
“The ICC counts on the continued support and cooperation of its States Parties in accordance with the Rome Statute and remains fully committed to a constructive and cooperative relationship with the African Union.”
Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta is facing charges of fuelling the 2007 post-election violence.