It was Desmond Tutu's article "In Africa, Seeking a License to Kill" in the International Herald Tribune that caught my eye as to what is cooking in Addis Ababa when the African Union meets this week.
Lets get things straight right from the start. Here I am not playing footsie with politics as usual; I am talking about bestial and hidious treatment of African people by murderous dictators who will use any method available to get rich and stay in power. Let us take the example of Charles Taylor and his activities in Sierra Leonie during that country's eleven year war. A squeamish stomach is no excuse for not knowing what this black man did to other black people. ( Brutality knows no frontiers or skin colour, but in this instance we are talking about the African continent). Taylor was convicted by a special court in The Hague for providing crucial aid to the rebels in Sierra Leonie. The rebels speciality was to offer their victims the choice, "Long sleeves or short sleeve",i.e. "Do you want your hand hacked off at the wrist or at the elbow?" Long sleeves of short sleeves was used on babies, women , children and men.
Taylor was found guilty of eleven charges, which include terror,murder and rape. He was sentenced to fifty years of imprisonement, which will be served in Britian. He of course pleaded "Not Guilty"
The African Union will be meeting this week to discuss the call of some of the African leaders to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. South Africa alas is joining this chorous and the reason given is of course, RACISM, which is absolute rubbish. With a pack of half-truths, they are trying to push through their agenda, which is of course, defending their communal backsides, just in case (see Sharpville, see Marikana) they just might find themselve in the accused box.
As Bishop Tutu points out, 20 African countries helped to bring the International Criminal Court into being and that 18 of the judges, 5 judges are African. Their argument that only Africans have stood trial in the Hague is another half truth. For the cases of Cambodia and Yugoslavia special courts were established. To top the cake, most of the African cases are brought by African countries themselves.
Genocide takes place world -wide, but, please believe me, everytime a brutal dictator gets 50 years in the chookie, the other dictators tremble and start to sleep badly. Persuit of criminal rulers does pay off.
Elise Keppler associate director of Human Rights Watch says that the African Union "should get out of the business of interfering in the judicial processes". I agree.
Folks, lean in. Use every means available to you, newspaper, radio, friends and family to talk ybout this issue. Do not let the ANC get away with this one, there is just too much at stake.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.