Tutu calls on African leaders not to kill ICC

2013-10-09 23:02
Desmond Tutu (Picture: AP)

Desmond Tutu (Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - South African Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu warned African leaders against leaving the International Criminal Court on Wednesday, saying it would leave the world a "more dangerous place".

In an online petition titled "Who will stop the next genocide?", the 82-year-old anti-apartheid hero said that in his lifetime he had seen "great gains made that protect the weak from the strong".

He cautioned that "in just two days time, African leaders could kill off a great institution, leaving the world a more dangerous place."

The 54-member African Union will meet on Friday to debate a possible withdrawal from the war crimes court over claims that it targets the continent.

Adding to growing cautions on such a move, Tutu called on continental heavyweights South Africa and Nigeria to back The Hague-based tribunal.

Calling the two countries the "voices of reason at the African Union," he urged them to "speak out and ensure that the persecuted are protected by the ICC".

Tutu said the ICC was the world's first and only court to try crimes against humanity, and accused the leaders of Sudan and Kenya, "who have inflicted terror and fear across their countries" of trying to "drag Africa out of the ICC, allowing them the freedom to kill, rape, and inspire hatred without consequences."

The petition is addressed to South African President Jacob Zuma and his Nigerian counterpart Goodluck Jonathan.

"Without the political leadership of Nigeria and South Africa and other democracies across the continent, justice could be buried and the ICC could be killed off," its text states.

"We call on you to lead the fight against crimes against humanity and keep Africa in the ICC."

Asking people to add their names, Tutu said once the petition had hit one million signatures, it would be delivered to leaders at the AU meeting.

The AU has accused the court of singling out Africans for prosecution and demanded that proceedings against Kenya's leadership linked to 2007-2008 post-election violence be dropped.

Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan said on Monday it would be a "badge of shame" for Africa if its leaders voted to leave the International Criminal Court, in a lecture marking Tutu's 82nd birthday.

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  desmond tutu  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.