Rwanda’s Justice Minister Johnston Busingye has said the International Criminal Court (ICC) only delivers “selective justice” – mostly targeting African leaders. His comments come as the world marks the 15th anniversary of the statute that established the court. Some are questioning whether Africa still needs the ICC, as discontent with the institution grows.
On July 17, 1998, delegates at an international conference in Rome voted to form the so-called “court of last resort” to try perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and other major offenses where local courts were unable or unwilling to act. Today the ICC – based in The Hague – has cases involving eight African countries including Kenya, Sudan and Ivory Coast. Rwanda is one of the countries never to sign the Rome Statute, and remains one of the strongest critics of the court’s activities.
Busingye told VOA that while Rwanda supports the concept of international justice, he feels the ICC has unfairly targeted Africans. “Africa seems to be taking the lion’s share of the ICC, for example, in the last one decade or so. So our position has really been this kind of justice is selective, and we do not want to have international justice being used as a tool, or being perceived as a tool to control Africa,” said Busingye.