Last Updated
Monday 01 September 2014, 07:00 am.
Africa cannot isolate itself

African leaders gathered at Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) over the weekend to make a resolution on the future of the continent's relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC).
By Mmegi Editor Tue 15 Oct 2013, 00:01 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Africa cannot isolate itself

The leaders resolved to call for a postponement by a year of the trial of Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.  Their argument is that the two should be allowed to focus on their mandate of running the country.

The two were indicted for the riots that followed the 2007 disputed elections in which more than 1,000 people lost their lives while others were displaced from their homes.

We would like to add our voice to this debate and call on our leaders to respect the conventions they entered into from way back.  It is worrying that African leaders seem to want to comply with these international conventions only when it suits them.

It is also disturbing that whilst in power, African leaders seem to think that the world revolves around them to the point where they can change their countries' constitutions, or even walk out of their international commitments.

This is the main reason why the African continent has experienced civil wars, hunger, poverty, unconstitutional takeovers of governments and other social ills to a degree that no other region of the world does.

The continent has not only gone through all these unwanted ills, it has also failed to resolve some catastrophes that disrupted the lives of their very own people and neighbours.

We caution that any move out of the ICC will set a bad precedent because each leader who assumes power might call for non-compliance with other conventions entered into by their predecessors. They will do everything that is not right until they question the validity of the separation of powers in a democratic setup.

After calling for an end to the practice of separation of powers, what would stop them from abolishing elections and calling for an end to multi-party democracy?

This is just a warning to fellow Africans to be careful.  We might find ourselves with leaders who refuse to account to their people on the ground that such practices are un-African or originate from the West.

We hope that the United Nations will stand up and talk sense into African leaders of the danger they are driving the continent into.  Their argument that the court is only targeting African leaders does not hold water since the numbers are high for the simple reason that the continent was in a mess in the recent past.

The bottom line is that the African continent cannot afford to go solo when the whole world is coming together to prevent catastrophes from reoccurring.

Today's thought

"A healthy democracy requires a decent society; it requires that we are honourable, generous, tolerant and respectful."

 - Charles Pickering



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