In Brief: Kenya’s ruling party seeks to protect its leadership from prosecution against crimes against humanity by dropping out of the International Criminal Court (ICC). As African leaders war against the only international tribunal that can hold them accountable, the African people are left defenceless.
Kenya’s parliament, the National Assembly, in mid-November 2015 received a bill that, when passed, will repeal the International Crimes Act 2008 which incorporates into Kenyan law the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court (ICC). When passed, the new bill that nullifies the older law will enjoy the support of the ruling-National Alliance Party (NAP), whose leader, President Uhuru Kenyatta, was indicted by the ICC and stood trial in 2014 for crimes against humanity. The case was dropped in December 2014 when the ICC prosecution said that it could not proceed without evidence that originated in Kenya but was not forthcoming. Kenyatta’s minions ensured that the evidence never reached The Hague to be used in their boss’ trial. The new legislation removing Kenya from the Rome Statute will absolve government from even pretending to cooperate with the ICC.
Violence has broken out again between government forces and the main political opposition party, with the top opposition leader twice escaping death in shootings. The time has come for the former civil war antagonists to lay down arms once and for all or risk scuttling an economic boom.
By Sandile Lukhele (1)
Faced with Mozambique’s political stalemate, most countries would muse that they should be so lucky. The head of government, finance minister or central bank governor of any country would salivate at the prospect of a 17.6% gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, which on 8 October 2015 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted would be Mozambique’s in 2020 once natural gas sales begin. Even the IMF’s news that Mozambique’s 2015 GDP growth would be the worst since 2009 was hardly tragic. A 7% growth is robust and is again the envy of most countries, including China, Russia and the US.
African leaders agreed to allow Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to become AU Chairman. Mugabe’s appointment could have profound implications if African leaders disregard national and international laws to engage in armed actions or suppress human rights, as the AU chairman is all but guaranteed not to respond during his tenure in the AU’s highest executive position.
Zimbabwe’s President-for-Life, Robert Mugabe, who at 91 cannot expect to be making 10- or even 5-year policy plans for his administration, on 30 January 2015 assumed the chairmanship of the 54-member state African Union (AU). The chairmanship rotates amongst Africa’s five regions. Mugabe replaced Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz at the body’s annual meeting held at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The African leaders could have passed over the controversial president whose chairmanship complicates AU affairs. The election did not have to be fait accompli.
Somalia’s al-Shabaab is in no position to carry out threatened attacks in Canada, the UK and the US, but may inspire North American and British jihadists. However, the publicity garnered by a propaganda video and another mass murder represents successful manipulations of Western media and American Islamophobia.
Skilful propaganda and a deadly university attack may raise recruits and financial sponsorship
Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahidin, or al-Shabaab as the group is commonly known, faced a dilemma in February 2015 following continuing battlefield defeats from the African Union (AU) Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Of paramount concern to the jihadist group whose goal is to transform Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state was the group’s diminishing control of the country due to AMISOM’s effective counter-insurgency campaign. As in any enterprise, success brings young, new individuals drawn to that success, as well as the financial backing of investors who see a likelihood of results for their sponsorship. Failure in the form of shrinking territory under al-Shabaab’s command and news coverage of its defeats inhibited both the recruitment of new members and the largesse of new sponsors.