The 15th Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU (Oct 11, 2013)
The 15th Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union is being held here in Addis Ababa today, Friday, October 11. The theme of the session is on Africa’s future relationship with the International Criminal Court. The Session was opened with welcoming remarks from the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Dlamini Zuma who thanked those for taking part in this extraordinary session of the executive council. She said "The AU's policy is non-indifference and that means that whatever concerns our citizens have in any part our continent should be our collective concern." Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairperson of the Executive Council, in his opening speech noted that the continent was highly committed to fight impunity and promote democracy, the rule of law and good governance. However, he said, International Criminal Court’s way of operating “particularly its unfair treatment of Africa and Africans leaves much to be desired”. Dr. Tedros said that even though Kenya had given its full cooperation to the ICC over the trails of Kenya’s President and Deputy President, the Court had refused to entertain even simple technical requests. The Foreign Minister said: “The search for justice should be pursued in a way that does not impede or jeopardize efforts aimed at promoting lasting peace.” Thirty-four of Africa’s 54 nations are signatories to the Rome Statute which was established the International Court in 2002. Since then the Court has launched eight investigations in Africa: Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Central African Republic (CAR), the Darfur region of Sudan, Kenya, Libya, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali. This has led to claims that the Court is biased against Africans and unresponsive to requests from the continent.