By Abdoulie John
Fatou Bensouda, deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), has reiterated her organization’s resolve to apply international law by bringing perpetrators of human rights violations to book. As such, she categorically stated that exemption from punishment, which is called impunity, does not constitute an abstract academic notion on the African continent. “As Africans, we have drawn a universal lesson from the terrible crimes that have plagued our families, our communities, our continent; impunity is not an abstract academic notion. This is true for Northern Uganda, Eastern Congo, the Central African Republic, Rwanda and Darfur,” she said. Mrs Bensouda made this statement while presenting a paper at the final day of the first ever Gambia Bar Association Week which took place from 22nd to 30th January 2010, at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi. Considered by many as a dangerous cancer that can negatively affect the march of modern societies towards democracy, the culture of impunity, Bensouda noted, needs to be eradicated form the African continent. And to achieve this goal, legal practitioners and democrats from all over the world have to get together as one in fighting this phenomenon, she said, adding, “We stand ready to discuss mutual concerns and areas of common interest. We have met in several occasions with lawyers in Africa in various fora; lawyers engaged in the promotion of international criminal justice and the need to put an end to impunity for the most serious crimes of concern to the International Criminal Court (ICC),” she assured the gathering. The creation of the ICC has put international justice at the centre stage of human development. In the context of reemergence of military regimes in Africa, its mandate should be extended to a supranational level. Nations’ sovereignty cannot constitute an obstacle to international justice.
ICC resolved to curb impunity – says Fatou Bensouda
By Abdoulie John