The International Criminal Court’s latest finding that Jordan was at fault in failing to arrest former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he visited Amman in 2017 even as it side-stepped action against the kingdom has sparked fresh concerns over the court’s ability to tame the world’s powerful political actors and rogue regimes.
The ICC Appeals Chamber’s decision was the latest in a series that has raised eyebrows and fuelled fears that the court may be caving in to pressure from powerful state actors who have waged prolonged smear campaigns against it or questioned its mandate to tackle international crimes.
Kenya and South Africa top the list of state actors that have vigorously mobilised against the ICC, accusing it of unfairly targeting Africa with racial undertones.
Three years ago, South Africa, then under President Jacob Zuma, reacted with an abrasive campaign to leave the ICC when asked about its decision to host al-Bashir adding impetus to Kenya’s own drive against the court that began in earnest in 2013.
Warrant of arrest
Kenya’s beef with the ICC was centred on its trial of President Uhuru Kenyatta and deputy president William Ruto for crimes against humanity.
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