Much needed change at ICC

Gambian prosecutor Fatima Bensouda will become the new chef prosecutor of the ICC. She will take over from her boss and the current head of the court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, who has shrouded the court in controversy. Ocampo has been criticized for only prosecuting African leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity. As The Economist points out

All 26 of the suspects publicly indicted by the court have been African; of those in the court’s custody, four are Congolese and one a Rwandan wanted for crimes in Congo.

This marks a huge victory for African nations and people’s. There have been many awful crimes that have been committed by African rulers in the past decade but we need to broaden the scope of the court. Rather than act as a deterrent against committing war crimes; ICC under Ocampo is now viewed as racist and unfair by leaders and people across Africa. How come no one in Israel has been charged with dropping white phosphorus on civilians in Gaza? Why has the Sri Lankan government been spared a serious investigation into war crimes committed in their push to defeat the Tamil Tigers?

International law should not be viewed
as unfair and biased. It makes bad leaders flaunt the law and do as they please. We need to strengthen the power to prosecute bad leaders, while at the same time make sure to prosecute people aside from those residing in Africa.

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