How Belgium Jailed Two Nuns To Cover Up Their Role In The Rwandan Genocide
In June 2001, a court in Belgium sentenced two nuns to 12 and 15 years in prison for their part in the Rwandan genocide but Belgium was responsible for the death of the thousands of Hutus and Tutsis in the country during the genocide.
I wouldn’t have stressed on this particular case with such confidence accusing the Belgium government of stirring a bloody war between two tribes, the Hutus and Tutsis, until I read the Polish writer, Ryszard's Kapunciski’s ‘The Shadow Of The Sun,’ giving every detail of how Belgium caused the bloody war between the peasant farmers and cattle rearers.
The two nuns were accused of handing over refugees to their killers during the ethnic war but the question is who started the fire for the scapegoats to pour in petrol?
For a very long time many world leaders, especially in Third World Countries wonder why the International Criminal Court exists in The Hague because they punish leaders that break the law in Third World Countries and allow non-Third World Countries that break the law to enjoy impunity.
The hypocrisy is too much around the discussing table that it has now overflowed its banks. George Bush and Tony Blair shouldn't enjoy freedom today after invading Iraq, destroyed the country, killed the Iraqis, under the lies that Saddam Hussein had a large number of weapons of mass destruction.
Both Charles Taylor of Liberia and Hissene Habré of Chad were brought to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. They were jailed for committing crimes against humanity in Liberia and Chad but those responsible for the bio-weapons Aids and Ebola which have killed thousands of people are enjoying impunity today.
Years after United Nations denied that they had nothing to do with the cholera epidemic in Haiti during the time the country needed the help most, the United Nations finally confessed of playing a role in the cholera epidemic that killed thousands and infected almost 800,000 in the country.
Like the Aids and Ebola, this is a medical crime that should lead to the closure of United Nations offices throughout America and those responsible to face charges at the International Criminal Court but the ICC did nothing because those responsible are criminals from 'Superpower' country. Who are the ICC fooling when it comes to criminal charges of wrongdoers? Why do they pick on African leaders alone?
Many African leaders and those who cared about genuine law and equal rights for humanity weren't surprised to hear that during his swearing-in speech on Thursday, President Museveni derided the International Criminal Court as a useless institution.
“The ICC is none of our business… That’s a useless body. Initially, we thought they were serious but they are a bunch of useless people,” he said, triggering a smile and clap of approval from Sudan president Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the ICC for war crimes in Darfur.
“We view President Museveni’s comments were mocking the victims of genocide and seeking accountability – we view that that was appropriate for us to speak out,” the director of the press office at the State Department, Ms. Elizabeth Trudeau, said during a media briefing in Washington on Thursday.
Immediately after introducing President Omar al-Bashir, during Thursday’s swearing-in, Mr. Museveni described the ICC as “a bunch of useless people’, comments that prompted representatives of the US government and the European Union at the ceremony to walk out and have since described Mr. Museveni’s remarks as disparaging.
“We believe that walking out in protest is an appropriate reaction to a head of state mocking efforts to ensure accountability for victims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Ms. Trudeau said.
Being a signatory to the Rome Statute 2002 that set up the ICC, Uganda was expected to arrest President Omar al-Bashir and hand him over to The Hague-based court which issued an arrest warrant against him accusing him of masterminding genocide and other atrocities in his campaign to crush a revolt in Sudan’s western Darfur region.
The arrest warrants were issued in 2009 and 2010. However, according to President Museveni, who until recently had been a proponent of the ICC, to the extent of calling it up to try LRA leader Joseph Kony and his commanders, “the ICC is none of our business.”
Sitting on his right side at the swearing-in was President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, another African leader who defied the ICC when he refused to arrest Mr. Bashir when he visited South Africa for an African Union Summit in Sandton last year.
President Museveni’s stand against ICC started coming out around 2007 when the court indicted Kenya’s President and Deputy President for trial, reasoning that the court was designed by imperialists to pursue African leaders.
The Monitor could not readily get a comment from the Foreign Affairs ministry but the Uganda Media Centre Director and government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, described the US and EU walkout on the pretext of caring for the Darfur victims as “hypocrisy.”
“It’s alright for them to have their own views but all those governments that walked out have diplomatic representation in Khartoum. None of them has closed their embassies or even downsized their presence in Khartoum and they have never told Sudan to remove its embassies from their countries.”
“If they were serious about what they say they would have at least closed their embassies. It is total hypocrisy. Why don’t they go and pick him from Sudan? It would not be the first time. They went for Gaddafi (Muammar) in Libya and Saddam Hussein in Iraq,” Opondo charged.
“We also think constructive engagement with [Mr] Bashir to bring peace in Sudan and the region is better than isolating him. We have cooperated with him to bring peace in northern Uganda and South Sudan,” he added.
Worth noting is the US has consistently opposed an international court that could hold its military and political leaders to a uniform global standard of justice. It refused to sign the Rome Statute and it is not a member of the ICC.
According to the website, Global Foreign Policy, the Bush administration, coming into office in 2001 as the court neared implementation, began to negotiate bilateral agreements with other countries, ensuring immunity of US nationals from prosecution by the court.
Last year the Israeli foreign affairs minister, Avigdor Lieberman, threatened that Israel “would act on dissolving the ICC,” after the court announced a decision to launch a preliminary investigation to determine “whether war crimes have been committed” during Israel’s last war in Gaza in the summer of 2014.
The Tel Aviv establishment considered the decision “provocative.”
The African Union has criticised the ICC of unfairly targeting the continent and its sitting presidents. “Elsewhere in the world, many things happen, many flagrant violations of human rights, but nobody cares,” Chad president and new AU chairman, Idriss Déby, said at the close of the AU summit early this year.
Although the decision to leave the ICC was left to individual member nations, Kenya, whose two leaders have just gotten off the ICC hook, proposed that the AU adopts a roadmap for total withdrawal.
ICC indictments: Since its inception in 2002, as a court of last resort to try war criminals, and perpetrators of genocide, the ICC has opened investigations involving nine nations, with eight being African: Kenya, Ivory Coast, Libya, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda, Mali and Georgia.
Indeed the International Criminal Court is nothing than a bunch of criminals, therefore, the court should be closed down with immediate effect. Africans are capable of judging their own case. Even though African leaders are corrupt they can do better than the International Criminal Court.
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Joel Savage and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana.