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26.05.2005 General News

Call On Ghana To Ratify ICC Statute

By Graphic

The Coalition for International Criminal Court (CICC) has appealed to Ghana to ratify the International Criminal Court (ICC) statute to enable the court to bring justice to individuals who have been accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and are seeking refuge in the country.

The coalition, which is a network of more than 2,000 non-governmental organizations (NGO) worldwide, is working for fair, effective and independent ICC.

The convenor of the CICC African Regional Strategic Meeting held in Accra, Mr William Pace, who was speaking to journalists, said it was ironic that culprits of mass murders were roaming about freely while people who committed one murder were tried and jailed.

He explained that the ratification of the ICC statute by African countries would enable the court to investigate and bring to justice individuals who committed the most serious violations of international humanitarian law in Africa.

Mr Pace said out of the 98 countries that had ratified the ICC Rome statute, 27 were African countries.

He said the CICC had, therefore, embarked on a communication strategy to enable more African countries to ratify the statute.

He urged the authorities to disabuse their minds of the notion that ratifying the Bilateral Immunity Act with the United States of America forbade Ghana from ratifying the ICC statute.

Mr Pace said the USA recently supported the Security Council to refer the Darfur genocide to the ICC because of the tremendous effort the court was making to curb heinous crimes in war zones.

He said as a result of the work of the ICC in war zones, war lords had minimised serious violations against civilians, women and children.

He said African countries stood the chance of gaining from ICC because majority of the war crimes were committed against Africans.

He said, for example, that in the past 50 years, because there was no mechanism to try the perpetrators of war crimes, out of the 250 conflicts that erupted around the world, more than 86,000,000 civilians, mostly women and children died.

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