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African Union runs critical eye over ICC

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th October 2013 06:14 PM

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has become a "political instrument", Ethiopia's foreign minister said on Friday, opening a meeting at which Africa will review its ties with the Hague-based war crimes tribunal.

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) has become a "political instrument", Ethiopia's foreign minister said on Friday, opening a meeting at which Africa will review its ties with the Hague-based war crimes tribunal.

Friday's ministerial meeting of the African Union (AU) and a summit on Saturday were called to cast a critical eye over the relationship following ICC cases against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto.

Both deny charges that they organised a killing spree after Kenya's disputed 2007 election.

Last month, an AU official said the organisation would consider a mass withdrawal by the continent's 34 signatories to the court's Rome Statute, though ministers and others have since played down talk of such action.

Frustration at the ICC has been growing in Africa because the court has only ever convicted one man, an African warlord, and all others its has charged are also Africans.

Rights groups have urged the continent not to quit, saying such a move would reverse efforts to end a culture of impunity they say has prevailed in African politics.

 

African Union runs critical eye over ICC

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