Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has left South Africa to his country, defying South African’s constitution to prevent his departure on the basis of an International Criminal Court order for his arrest.
Yet another setback for human rights in Africa.
The whole conversation about the ICC being prejudiced against Africans is misplaced. Now, I am not saying that only Africans deserve to face trial at the ICC. Far from it. Many individuals deserve to be tried under the institution.
What I think however, is that ICC is our best way to get justice considering the weak national and continental judicial institutions.
The national legal systems too often serve the ruling party, and has been heavily politically biased. Case in point, I strongly believe ICC is in a much better position to offer Laurent Gbagbo an impartial trial than any national jurisdiction. Same would apply for Sudan, Kenya and many other countries.
Regarding the continental institutions, we would not even be here discussing whether or not the ICC had to investigate Bashir, if the African Union was doing its job to improve the situation for the continent, as opposed to just serving its leaders.
Same thing with the whole issue around a resolution against “third terms”, where the institution could have led the way for democracy in several countries. Of course, nothing much will come from the African Union Heads of State and Government in South Africa. As Justice Malala said in The Guardian last week,
You cannot have moral authority with 91-year-old president-for-life Robert Mugabe at the helm