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Zimbabwe backs ICC pull out call

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. PHOTO/AFP
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. PHOTO/AFP 

Friday, October 11, 2013

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Zimbabwe says it will back calls for Africa to pull out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) during an African Union summit this weekend in Ethiopia.

The Southern African country has signed the Rome Statute that created the ICC but has not ratified it, which means it is not bound by the court’s obligations.

Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday accused the ICC of targeting African leaders while letting off their Western counterparts.

“History has taught us that colonialism was Europe colonising us. Now we need to go to Europe to be tried there by the same former colonial powers, down with that,” he said

“We are not even debating it (ICC protocol). I don’t think it will see the light of the day in terms of ratification.”

Some critics say President Robert Mugabe’s reluctance to step down is partly because he fears being dragged to the ICC for alleged human rights violations.

Mr Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe wants Africa to “stand up and stamp their authority” against ICC bias.

“Western leaders are left free but in Africa, look at Kenya, they are taking President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy who were elected by the people of Kenya, hauling them to go and face trials (at The Hague,” he said.

President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are being tried for allegedly playing a role in the 2007-2008 post-election violence.


The AU meeting starts on Friday and President Mugabe, who has also been critical of the ICC, is expected to attend.

“We now realise that instrument is being used against African leaders more than it is being used against cowboys like (former US president George Bush, (former British prime minister) Tony Blair,” Mr Mnangagwa said.

“George Bush went to Iraq on the pretext that there were arms of mass destruction and yet I don’t believe that the CIA and the FBI did not know that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq but they rode on that false pretext.”

“They hanged Saddam Hussein of Iraq after that … the same thing happened in Libya to Muammar Gaddaffi who was killed again by the same gangs just because these countries have oil but no one is taking Bush no one is taking Tony Blair and other similar category of leaders,” he added.

“In the lifespan of the ICC, it has not been playing fair with regards to who goes there and who doesn’t … it is biased and why should we go to Europe to be tried?” he asked.

Zimbabwe has in the past welcome Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir who has a pending ICC warrant of arrest for war crimes.


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