17 October 2013

Rwanda: Kagame Slams 'Selective' Justice By ICC

Kigali — Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Tuesday accused the International Criminal Court of dispensing "selective" justice, in the latest blast of criticism from Africa against the court.

"This world is divided into categories, there are people who have the power to use international justice or international law to judge others and it does not apply to them," Kagame told a press conference Tuesday.

"Everyone who needs justice should get it, it doesn't matter where. You can't have an international system that is supposed to dispense justice and it ends up doing it selectively or politically," he went on.

Rwanda is not a party to the Rome Statute, which laid the foundations for the ICC.

Kagame has often criticised the international court, which some leaders on the continent accuse of racism and unfair treatment as all of its current cases are against Africans.

In September Kagame lashed out at the ICC at the UN General Assembly for its crimes against humanity case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto, both elected in March.

"Instead of promoting justice and peace, it has undermined efforts at reconciliation and served only to humiliate Africans and their leaders, as well served the political interests of the powerful," he said.

The African Union on Saturday asked for the cases against Kenyatta and Ruto to be deferred, warning it would support a no-show by the Kenyan leader if the demand was not answered.

Rwanda did not protest however when Congolese militia leader Bosco Ntaganda, turned himself in at the US embassy in Kigali in March and asked to be transferred to the ICC.

Kagame often criticised the UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), set up to try the alleged masterminds of the Rwandan genocide, which Kagame's then rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) brought to an end.

Kagame accused the court of being too soft on some of the alleged perpetrators of the genocide. But he acknowledged the tribunal was better than no international tribunal at all.

The ICTR has also came under fire from some analysts for not aggressively pursuing crimes against humanity charges allegedly committed by the RPF.

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