Zambia must remain in ICC – SACCORD

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President Lungu inspecting a guard of honour during his inauguration. Photo: Jean Mandela

The Southern African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) says Zambia should maintain its membership of the International Criminal Court.

Executive Director Boniface Cheembe says leaving the ICC will make Zambia cease being a leading democratic example on the African continent.

Mr Cheembe note that withdrawing from the ICC should not be an option, but pushing for reforms at the ICC if necessary.

A number of African countries have in recent years threatened to pull out of the ICC.Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe whose country was not part a signatory to the Rome statute has in the past been quoted criticising the ICC over its prosecution of African leaders.

President Mugabe was quoted saying it was high time Africa set up a criminal court which would seek justice for “serious” war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the West, particularity during the colonial era.

Many in the international community cheered when the treaty to create the ICC, the Rome Statute, was adopted in 1998 as a way to pursue some of the world’s worst atrocities: genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Not all countries signed on. Notable countries that have not joined include the United States, China, Russia and India. Some countries are wary of The Hague, Netherlands-based court’s powers, seeing it as potential interference.Only Africans have been charged in the six ICC cases that are ongoing or about to begin.

SACCORD Executive Director Boniface Cheembe has since welcomed President Edgar Lungu’s indication that the decision on whether to stay or leave the ICC will be subject to wide consultation.He however said that there is also no need for the country to hold a referendum on whether to withdraw membership from the ICC or not as some people are suggesting.

Mr Cheembe says just as a referendum was not necessary when Zambia joined the International Criminal Court, the country does not need to use a referendum to decide whether it should leave or remain a member of the ICC.

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One Response to Zambia must remain in ICC – SACCORD

  1. For Personal and selfish reasons Lungu has already decided and committed Zambia to leave ICC b4 he is personally indicted for committing crimes against Zambians. Since Lungu was not democratically,lawfully and Constitutionally elected he does not feel accountable to Zambians. Instead of listening to Zambians and allowing the Petition to be heard and disposed off, Lungu would rather soldier on and cling to power illegitimately. Lungu is playing for time and would rather be indicted to ICC than to hear the deadly Petition which could lead to his removal from power. Lungu is now associating with fellow criminals like Al Bashir,Mu7 and Mugabe. The question is how do Zambians stop Lungu on this destructive path? All progressive Zambians must rally behind HH & GBM in their fight to stop Lungu’s dictatorship in Zambia.

    Moono
    February 15, 2017 at 9:38 am
    Reply

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