Note to the reader: In my commentary last week, I defended the International Criminal Court (ICC) against accusations of “race hunting”, selective and arbitrary prosecution and abuse of power by certain African leaders.  This week I continue my defense, in a rather lengthy commentary, by exposing and scrupulously refuting the bogus arguments articulated  by these leaders and their minions to evade accountability for crimes committed in violation of international humanitarian law.

I defend the ICC not because it is a perfect judicial institution or system but because it is an imperfect one that can be perfected over time with the support and cooperation of the community of nations. I also defend the ICC because cunning race-baiters have used their poison-tipped spear of “race hunting” accusations to disarm, impale and render it defenseless. It is conventional wisdom that a well-timed unsubstantiated accusation of racism has the power to devastatingly incapacitate a targeted individual or institution and wickedly debase the truth. That is the plot of the political theater to be staged at the African Union on October 13, 2013.

For me, the ICC is a powerful symbol of the rule of international humanitarian law. The ICC has been functional for barely a decade. Its achievements are modest but it has vast potential to become a court of last resort for those who are accustomed to abusing human rights with impunity. For African dictators, the ICC has become a formidable symbol of accountability. Just as the sign of the cross is said to put blood thirsty vampires to flight, the ICC’s insignia represented by the scales of justice strikes fear and trepidation in the hearts of vampiric African dictators. African dictators may thumb their noses at their people and sneer at the rule of law; but they tremble standing in the ICC’s long shadow of justice!  This is my memorandum to African history.

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ONA.

 

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