Statement of the Africa Liberal Network
Stevens Mokgalapa MP, ALN Southern Africa Vice President
The Africa Liberal Network is alarmed by the proposed collective withdrawal by member states from the International Criminal Court (ICC) . This strategy was yesterday put forward and adopted by the African Union at its summit in Ethiopia.
Although a non-binding decision, the strategy adopted by the AU membership flies in the face of a democratic, human rights agenda, including the Right to Protect imperative. The withdrawal serves no justice to Africa and its peoples, except to cover up the atrocities committed by illiberal, antidemocratic dictators and despots. Clearly, important lessons have not been learned from tragedies in Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, and elsewhere.
ALN President Olivier Kamitatu, a leading figure of the G7 opposition movement in the DR Congo, implores:
“We urge all AU states to reconsider and ultimately reject any strategy of leaving the ICC. The ICC’s role should be reinforced, reinvigorated and mandated to serve the interests of the defenseless. Instead of an ICC-exit, let us together work to ensure the institution becomes more effective and efficient for the cause of justice.”
We applaud the dissenting voices of certain African countries, including Senegal, which have spoken in favour of remaining in and building up the ICC as a credible, reliable human rights institution. The Senegalese government is led by President Macky Sall and his APR-Yakaar party, a member of the ALN.
In South Africa, the network also applauds the persistent efforts of our full-member, the Democratic Alliance (official opposition). The DA continues to pursue legal means to ensure that the country’s national government – led by the African National Congress – faces the necessary consequences for its unwillingness to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir whilst he was on South African soil.
The African Union ought to be standing up for the human rights of all. The AU must work towards strengthening institutions which would protect our peoples, especially when their own governments fail to do so.
Luke Akal (ALN Coordinator)
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