African Union: President Robert Mugabe should urgently address human rights concerns

Robert MugabeZimbabwean President Robert Mugabe should use his position as the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) to address key human rights concerns in different parts of the continent, including his own country, Amnesty International said today.

President Robert Mugabe takes over the rotating position from the Mauritanian president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz which will see him in charge for the year ahead.

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Beware the Rotten Fruit of AFRICOM Training

The U.S. may talk the talk of ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights,’ but in Africa, it has never walked the walk.”

Mali RebelsIf a tree is judged by its fruit, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) is undeniably diseased from its roots to its branches. One of AFRICOM’s fruits, Amadou Sanogo, who is a captain in Mali’s armed forces, and a former AFRICOM trainee, led the recent military takeover of Mali’s government supposedly because he didn’t believe the country’s leaders were doing enough to suppress an armed secessionist movement in the northern territories. The result was disastrous. The African Union was outraged, and in short order, not only were there crippling economic sanctions against Mali, but also the secessionists took advantage of the confused state of Mali’s government and military and secured control of several towns, including the legendary Timbuktu.

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AU summit opens with a Scathing attack on ICC policies Targeting African leaders

President Robert Mugabe  of ZimbabweAddis Ababa – Ethiopia’s foreign minister opened a special African Union summit Friday with a scathing attack on the International Criminal Court, blasting what he said was its “unfair” and “totally unacceptable” treatment of Africa.

The special summit comes amid mounting tensions between The Hague-based court and Kenya, whose president and vice-president have been charged with committing crimes against humanity during election-related violence in 2007-2008.

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AU, Kenya and the International Criminal Court: Beyond Impunity

The African Union should be working hard to ensure that there is no impunity in Africa. If Kenyatta and Ruto are innocent they should not be afraid to get their day in court. Any discussion at the AU about mass withdrawal from the ICC could be tantamount to self-delegitimization

This week many of the current political leaders of Africa will meet in Addis Ababa to discuss whether African states should withdraw en masse from the International Criminal Court because of the indictment of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto. This meeting will be an extra-ordinary session of the African Union (AU) organized to deliberate on International Jurisdiction, Justice and the International Criminal Court (ICC). At issue is whether the ICC has discriminated against Africans and whether the case of the killings of over 1,100 persons in 2008 and the displacement of over half a million should be a matter of international criminal law. 

To ensure that the original reasons for the case before the ICC are not forgotten, it is urgent that the Assembly of the African Union remembers its mandate and foundational doctrine of non-indifference embedded in Article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act of the AU, mandating the continental body to ‘intervene … in respect of grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.’ As such, I am arguing that the special session of the AU has far more serious priorities. If Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are innocent, then they can have their day in court and their exoneration before an international criminal court can only convey greater political legitimacy to them.

As already stated, one aim of the African Union when it was formed was to ensure that there was no impunity for those who committed crimes against humanity in Africa. If indeed, it is the position of the African peoples that the ICC has discriminated against Africans, then the most urgent matter before this upcoming Assembly is for Africans to build regional and national mechanisms to bring those who commit crimes against humanity to justice. Unless the Assembly can demonstrably guarantee the African peoples that the AU has genuine political will and capacity to thoroughly enforce article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act, to stem the criminal activities of desperate and selfish political leaders in Africa, any discussion about mass withdrawal from the ICC could be tantamount to self-delegitimization. 

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ICC Vague on its response to letter of Concern from AU about proceedings of the Kenyan Leadership

 Judge Cuno TarfusserATLANTA – The Second Vice-President of the International Criminal Court (ICC, Court), Judge Cuno Tarfusser, has responded on behalf of the ICC Presidency to a letter from the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, which addressed various aspects of the ongoing ICC proceedings of the Kenyan President, Mr Kenyatta, and his Deputy, Mr Ruto, both charged with crimes against humanity for crimes allegedly committed in Kenya in the 2007-2008 post-election violence.

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AU Seeks Regional Response to Conflicts

Chairman Jean Ping addresses participants of the opening session of the African Union Peace and Security council meeting in Addis Ababa, July 14, 2012.ADDIS ABABA — An African Union summit opened in Addis Ababa Sunday with calls for the AU to play a more active role in settling regional conflicts. The AU plans to support military interventions in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali. 

African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping opened the summit with a call for African solutions to African problems.

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AU extends mandate for Jean Ping Until next Election

Dlamini-ZumaThe African Union on Tuesday extended the mandate of its top official Jean Ping after an election, in which he was challenged by South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, deadlocked. “We have decided to prolong the mandate of the current commission until the next summit in Lilongwe Malawi” in June, bloc chairman, Benin’s President Thomas Boni Yayi, said at the end of a two-day summit in Addis Ababa.

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