Black is beautiful at International Criminal Court

The nomination of Mrs. Fatou Bensouda as the new Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is very good news indeed. Where her predecessor, Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo, has been irritating especially African countries by his insistence on focusing on African corruption and violence, one can expect a more balanced approach from this Gambian born lawyer. Mrs. Bensouda has been vice Chief Prosecutor of the iCC for years and knows how the institution functions (and how it does not). She has been Attorney General and Minister of Justice in her own country and was member of the Rwanda Tribunal in Tanzania, so she knows her profession inside out. With this nomination the signatories of the ICC Charter show that they understand why Africa (and the African Union) are so critical about the -in their eys- biased court. Mrs. Bensouda will have to prove she is courageous and independent. Not easy in the ICC culture, but I think she can do it. First thing she must plan is a tour of Africa where she could try to convince the governments to cooperate in arresting war criminals. The attitude today is: why extradite our brothers to a world where they discriminate us? Or in clearer words: why trust a court that focusses on Africa, meanwhile ‘forgetting’ the shame of Guantanamo Bay, where prisoners ar tortured under US supervision…That is a war crime against humanity as well. But who said we live in a just world? To finish on a positive note: let’s compliment the ICC with this belate but very welcome wisdom.

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