The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Ms Fatou Bensouda, has dismissed the widely held perception in Africa that the Court is selective, targeting mainly African nations.
She expressed regret that the work of the ICC had over the years been viewed with suspicion by some member states of the African Union.
Ms Bensouda, a Gambian national, who has been the chief prosecutor for the ICC since June 2012, made the point at a meeting with former President John Dramani Mahama on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference 2019 in Germany last Friday.
More than 600 high-level international decision-makers from politics, business, academia and civil society attended the conference.
A statement issued by Mrs Joyce Bawah Mogtari, the spokesperson for the former President, said the bilateral meeting “focussed on relations between the court and Africa, how to improve the confidence of the African continent and people in the court and issues of human rights around the world. ”
Mr Mahama was at the Munich conference in his capacity as Chairman of the Tana High Level Forum on Security in Africa, a platform for African leaders, stakeholders and thought leaders for exploring and exchanging ideas on African-led solutions to security challenges
The statement said Ms Bensouda congratulated Mr Mahama on his role in consolidating democracy in Africa and added that she said she was also impressed with the former President’s work as chairman of the Tana Forum.
The ICC entered into force in July 2002 after 60 countries had ratified it. It is the first permanent international criminal court to prosecute over the most heinous crimes of concern to the international community .
The court’s founding treaty, called the Rome Statute, grants the ICC jurisdiction over four main crimes: the crime of genocide, crime against humanity, war crime and crime of aggression.