British academic David Hoile described the Internal Criminal Court (ICC) as a “corrupt and racist institution” that only serves the purpose of European policy.
Speaking in Addis Ababa at the launch of his new book, Justice Denied: The reality of the International Criminal Court, the scholar said: “The ICC has emerged as an instrument of European foreign policy and its actions are increasingly being seen as re-colonisation by spurious and illegitimate means.”
Mr. Hoile added that the court’s reputation has been “irretrievably damaged by its racism, blatant double standards, hypocrisy, corruption and serious judicial irregularities.… Political interference in the legal process was made part of the court’s founding terms of reference.”
The AU is heavily divided over the ICC, with East African leaders facing strong resistance from their West African counterparts in their campaign to whip up hostility towards the court.
Opposition towards the 11-year-old ICC runs deepest in East Africa - not surprising as two of the region's presidents - Sudan's Omar al-Bashir and Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta - have been indicted, while Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto is already on trial on charges of crimes against humanity.
"There are strong passions around the issue. The ICC has been on the agenda of every AU summit since Mr Bashir's indictment," Steven Gruzd, an analyst with the South African Institute of International Affairs, told the BBC.
"The countries that are most vocal in their opposition to the ICC are in East Africa - Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. West African countries like Nigeria and Ghana are more supportive of the court," he said.
The AU has called an extraordinary summit, due to take place on Friday and Saturday, in an attempt to ratchet up pressure on the ICC ahead of Mr Kenyatta's trial next month.
Despite widespread speculation that the summit will consider calling on all 34 African members to pull out of the ICC, Kenya's Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed said on Wednesday that it was "quite naive" to think that leaders would "come together with the sole aim" of breaking ties with the court.
Mr Ruto's and Mr Kenyatta's trials are unprecedented - they are the first serving leaders to be tried by an international court.
Mr Ruto had to ask for his trial to be adjourned, so he could return home to deal with the recent Westgate shopping centre terror attack. He was given a week's delay - less than he had requested.
"In advanced countries, sitting presidents are not hauled before courts. It's for the courts to wait for the president to finish their terms before proceedings can be instituted," Ms Mohamed told a news conference.
Like Mr Ruto, Mr Kenyatta is accused of organising violence after disputed elections in 2007, leaving some 1,100 people dead and 600,000 homeless.
Whatever one’s views regarding Moamar Gadaffi, the post-colonial Libyan government played a key role in eliminating poverty and developing the country’s health and educational infrastructure. According to Italian Journalist Yvonne de Vito, “Differently from other countries that went through a revolution – Libya is considered to be the Switzerland of the African continent and is very rich and schools are free for the people. Hospitals are free for the people. And the conditions for women are much better than in other Arab countries.” (Russia Today, August 25, 2011)
These developments are in sharp contrast to what most Third World countries were able to “achieve” under Western style “democracy” and “governance” in the context of a standard IMF-World Bank Structural Adjustment program (SAP).
Public Health Care
Public Health Care in Libya prior to NATO’s “Humanitarian Intervention” was the best in Africa. “Health care is [was] available to all citizens free of charge by the public sector. The country boasts the highest literacy and educational enrolment rates in North Africa. The Government is [was] substantially increasing the development budget for health services…. (WHO Libya Country Brief )
Confirmed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), undernourishment was less than 5 %, with a daily per capita calorie intake of 3144 calories. (FAO caloric intake figures indicate availability rather than consumption).
The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya provided to its citizens what is denied to many Americans: Free public health care, free education, as confirmed by WHO and UNESCO data.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO): Life expectancy at birth was 72.3 years (2009), among the highest in the developing World.
Under 5 mortality rate per 1000 live births declined from 71 in 1991 to 14 in 2009
Source Facebook: Vince Norment
The muscular display of power and pageantry at the inauguration in Washington may be watched by envious eyes around the world. Not least among those who yearn to build another USA – the United States of Africa – under a single president.
Speaking in Harare after meeting Benin's president, Thomas Boni Yayi, who is the outgoing African Union (AU) chairman, Mugabe argued that a figurehead is needed to move Africa beyond regional blocs and into the global superleague.
The AU holds its latest summit this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Mugabe, 88, warned that Africans are not as united as was expected by the founders of the AU's predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, half a century ago.
"We really have not become integrated as an African people into a real union," he said. "And this is the worry, which my brother has, and the worry I have; the worry perhaps others also have. That we are not yet at that stage which was foretold by our fathers when they created this organisation."
The founding fathers had a vision of a continent united politically, economically and culturally, he added. "We are not there yet. As we stand here people will look at us, as me anglophone, him francophone, you see. There is also lusophone, but we are Africans first and foremost. Africans, Africans. Look at our skin.
"That's our continent, we belong to one continent. We may, by virtue of history, have been divided by certain boundaries and especially by colonialism. But our founding fathers in 1963 showed us the way and we must take up that teaching that we got in 1963. That we are one and we must be united."
A United States of Africa spanning Cape Town and Cairo was proposed by Gaddafi in 1999 as a way of ending the continent's conflicts and defying the west, but it failed to secure enough support from his African counterparts. Some suspected that Gaddafi wanted the job for himself – a charge that Mugabe is hardly likely to dodge.
There is a case for challenging borders that were drawn up by European imperialists and which continue to inhibit travel and trade. But critics say the notion of uniting 54 countries with their thousands of languages and ethnicities is currently untenable. In fact some parts of Africa have been moving in the opposite direction and seeking local autonomy. Economies are moving at very different speeds.
In 1961, with Portugal in the grip of a ruthless dictator, 60 brilliant students were smuggled out of the country to safety. Ruaridh Nicoll tells their dramatic story – and reveals how many went on to become Africa’s most respected and influential leaders
When Lilica Boal was a little girl in Tarrafal, a dusty colonial town at the northern reaches of the Cape Verdean island of Santiago, she could see a concentration camp from her home.
“The prisoners would arrive in trucks covered in black cloth so no one could see who was inside,” she says. “Once they were in the colony there was almost total silence about their lives.”
The inmates were Europeans, opponents of the dictatorship in Portugal, the colonial power. They couldn’t see Lilica either – from within there was only a line of barbed wire, a deep ditch, the patrolled, crenellated walls and beyond the black and bare volcanic hills that must have seemed a long way from home.
Yet Lilica knew more than most and that knowledge would mark her life. Inside was a 16-year-old Portuguese communist, Guilherme da Costa Carvalho, whose family would visit regularly. As there were no hotels in Tarrafal, they would stay with Lilica’s family. “We had a very close relationship,” she recalls, now an elegant, watchful lady in her 70s. “His mother suffered greatly.”
Lilica was clever. She grew up to earn a place in a medical school in Portugal itself. There, in 1958, she would join 300 other students from the Lusophone colonies in Africa – Cape Verde, Mozambique, Angola, São Tomé, Guinea-Bissau – at the three universities of Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto.
But, in 1961, she would flee Portugal with a new husband and 58 others, many of whom would become the most admired leaders and fighters of our time, including two of Africa’s most celebrated presidents. It would be an epic escape, a great adventure story and one entirely untold in the English- speaking world.
Back in the late 1950s these students were just discovering their fire. “When I came to study in Portugal, Guilherme’s family welcomed me, and took me to visit the families of the other political prisoners in Tarrafal,” says Lilica. “All this leaves its mark on a 20-year-old woman. When people started talking about our liberation, I saw reasons to join the fight.”
As the 50s gave way to the 60s, Portugal was in the grip of the scholarly but ruthless dictator António de Oliveira Salazar. A “corporatist”, he saw the colonies as extensions of Portugal. His was, according to Joaquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique and one of the students involved in this story, a “fascist regime”.
The winds of change were sweeping Africa. Countries such as Ghana, Senegal and Congo had already achieved independence and a war of liberation had begun in the Portuguese colony of Angola. Salazar was isolated in world opinion as he had lost his greatest supporters: Eisenhower had been replaced by Kennedy in the US; Pope Pius XII had died, and there had been a change of regime in Brazil.
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Whenever anyone points to the troubles facing countries in Africa, it is inevitable that corrupt African heads of state and their cronies will shoulder the blame. Corruption is a serious issue on the continent. No one denies that. What is never discussed, however, is how upright African leaders are routinely eliminated by the West and intentionally replaced with puppets.
One of those principled leaders was Burkina Faso’s Thomas Sankara, who moved his country toward self reliance prior to his assassination.
A 2014 article from Silicon Africa drives home this point:
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A week before he died, Thomas Sankara said, “revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, but you cannot kill ideas”. And so, for us today, the final challenge rests not in finding more Sankaras, but in becoming them – in bringing these ideas to life.
Thomas Sankara, former leader of Burkina Faso, was the apparent opposite of everything we are often told that success should look like. Mansions? Cars? Who? What? Get out of here. As Prime Minister and later as President, Sankara rode a bicycle to work before he upgraded, at his Cabinet’s insistence, to a Renault 5 – one of the cheapest cars available in Burkina Faso at the time. He lived in a small brick house and wore only cotton that was produced, weaved and sewn in Burkina Faso.
Going by his lifestyle, Sankara was the antithesis of success, but it is this very distinction that enabled him to become the most successful president Africa has ever seen, in terms of what he accomplished for and with his people. Sankara would not have chopped P-Square’s money given twice a chance – in fact, he might have sat him down and taught him a thing or two about the creeping menace of pop culture patriarchy – because Thomas Sankara, “The Upright Man”, was a feminist. In this and....
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Africa is rich with abundant, untapped natural resources. Yet decades after achieving formal independence from colonial rule, most African countries remain poor and unstable.
According to the dominant narrative, the West continues to reluctantly shoulder White Man’s Burden, tirelessly intervening to save the Africans from their own endemic savagery. Offering generous aid and even putting their own troops
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Kwame Nkrumah (21 September 1909 27 April 1972) was the first President of the first free nation in Africa, and a founding father of the Pan-Africanist movement.
His dream was to turn Ghana into a modern industrial utopia – a society shaped by the power of science that would serve as a model for the rest of the African continent. At the heart of his plan was the Volta Dam, a hydroelectric power plant that would provide Ghana with all the cheap power that it would need to initiate an industrial revolution.
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