Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The ICC: Is its Credibility in Question?

Over the past few weeks many experts have weighed in on the happenings at the International Criminal Court (ICC). From the arrest of former presidential candidate and Congolese senator Jean Pierre Bemba to the release and appeal of Thomas Lubanga, analysts have voiced their concerns about the fairness or lack thereof of the process that leads the court to decide who is charged and prosecuted.

Many Congolese for example, believe the arrest of Jean Pierre Bemba was politically motivated, particularly seeing that he was charged for crimes in the Central African Republic that were committed while he was participating in a peace conference in South Africa. Moreover, warrants issued against Bosco Ntaganda of the Laurent Nkunda's National Council for the Defense of the People (CNDP)have not been followed through on, even Nkunda himself has warrants issued against him by the Congolese government for crimes against humanity but he appears to benefit from the protection of Rwanda and the West.

Concern has also been raised that Africa is being used as a laboratory for the ICC while more powerful nations such as Russia, China or the US will never see their soldiers brought before the court. Find out more about the debate:

When peace and justice collide (Financial Times)

DR Congo war crimes accused Lubanga kept in detention: court

ICC approach risks peacemaking in Darfur (The Guardian)

International Criminal Court’s Trial of Thomas Lubanga “Stayed” (Human Rights Watch)


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