Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has defended the International Criminal Court (ICC) dismissing claims that it is bent on jailing African leaders.
He was speaking in the wake of calls by the African Union (AU) for the mass withdrawal of member states from the ICC in January, after a divisive debate at its annual heads of state summit in Addis Ababa.
The ICC, however, denied the allegation of deliberately targeting African leaders, a stance the former UN Secretary General subscribes to.
According to him, “the court did not go after African leaders. In fact, most of the cases at the ICC were referred to the ICC by the African countries themselves.”
He said per the modus operandi of the ICC, if a government can and does offer justice at home “there is no need to refer to the ICC.”
“So, there is a complementarity there. It is when either the government is unable or willing to, that the case will end up at the ICC. I was very much involved in the Kenyan situation. I [called] on the Kenyan government on several occasions to set up a local tribunal twice; parliament voted it down and in fact, the parliamentarians included those who ended up in the Hague,” he said.