John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Showing posts for "ICC"

Crimes Against Humanity and Nigeria’s Giwa Barracks

by John Campbell
A soldier examines a wall riddled with bullets, from an attack by Boko Haram militants, in front of a house in Bama, Borno State, February 20, 2014. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) A soldier examines a wall riddled with bullets, from an attack by Boko Haram militants, in front of a house in Bama, Borno State, February 20, 2014. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

Amnesty International, the London-based non-governmental human rights organization, has issued a report, “Nigeria: More than 1,500 Killed in North-Eastern Nigeria in Early 2014.” Of particular interest is its dissection of what happened on March 14 at Giwa Barracks, the largest military facility in Maiduguri, Borno State. Read more »

Dust Up Between Pretoria and Kigali

by John Campbell
Rwanda's President Paul Kagame (2nd L) pays his respects to former South African president Nelson Mandela on the last day of Mandela's lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, December 13, 2013. (Alexander Joe/Courtesy Reuteres) Rwanda's President Paul Kagame (2nd L) pays his respects to former South African president Nelson Mandela on the last day of Mandela's lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, December 13, 2013. (Alexander Joe/Courtesy Reuteres)

South Africa on Monday expelled three Rwandan officials from its embassy in Pretoria. They are charged with complicity in an assassination attempt against a Rwandan dissident living in South Africa. In response, Kigali expelled six South African diplomats. Read more »

Kenyatta ICC Trial Temporarily Adjourned

by John Campbell
Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta arrives for the extraordinary session of the African Union's Assembly of Heads of State and Government on the case of African relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC), in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, October 12, 2013. (Tiksa Negeri/Courtesy Reuters) Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta arrives for the extraordinary session of the African Union's Assembly of Heads of State and Government on the case of African relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC), in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, October 12, 2013. (Tiksa Negeri/Courtesy Reuters)

On December 19, International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the judges to adjourn the trial date of Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta because one of the prosecution’s witnesses is now declining to testify and another has confessed to giving false evidence. She is asking for the adjournment to give her more time to seek other evidence before proceeding with the trial. Read more »

In Africa, It’s About Governance

by John Campbell
Combination picture shows Kenya's then-finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Kenya's former Higher Education Minister William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague in these April 8, 2011 (L) and September 1, 2011 file photos. (Pool New/Courtesy Reuters) Combination picture shows Kenya's then-finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Kenya's former Higher Education Minister William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague in these April 8, 2011 (L) and September 1, 2011 file photos. (Pool New/Courtesy Reuters)

Many friends and observers of Africa, including myself, see shortcomings in governance as key to the slow rate of economic, social, and political development in some African countries. The converse is also true. Where governance is better, development can be rapid. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has published its annual ranking of African states. The top five in descending order are Mauritius, Cape Verde, Botswana, Seychelles, South Africa, and Namibia while the bottom five, going from bad to worse, are Zimbabwe, the Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, and Somalia. For a second consecutive year, the Foundation has announced that there is no winner of the Ibrahim Prize for outstanding leadership by a chief of state. Established in 2006, the prize’s independent and highly distinguished judges have awarded the prize only three times, to the former chiefs of state of Botswana, Cape Verde, and Mozambique. They have also recognized the work of Nelson Mandela, out of office long before the prize was established, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, both of South Africa. Subsequently, I will be blogging on the Ibrahim Index and the Ibrahim Prize. Here I cite them to support the point about the relationship between good governance and social and economic progress, and to point out that poor governance remains a significant challenge for Africa. Read more »

Kenya and the International Criminal Court

by John Campbell
A general view shows the opening session of Heads of States and Government of the African Union on the case of African relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, October 11, 2013. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) A general view shows the opening session of Heads of States and Government of the African Union on the case of African relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, October 11, 2013. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

Significant African opinion appears hostile to the International Criminal Court at The Hague (ICC). In Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto, both under ICC indictment for crimes committed during post-election violence in 2007-2009, included in their campaign rhetoric that the ICC was a tool of Western imperialism. This view is shared by many. Read more »

Kenya Churns Over the International Criminal Court

by John Campbell
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta attends the opening of the 11th Parliament in the capital Nairobi April 16, 2013. (Noor Khamis/Courtesy Reuters) Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta attends the opening of the 11th Parliament in the capital Nairobi April 16, 2013. (Noor Khamis/Courtesy Reuters)

Deputy President William Ruto’s International Criminal Court (ICC) trial for crimes against humanity associated with the 2007 elections opens September 10 in The Hague. President Kenyatta’s trial is scheduled to open November 12. On September 5 the Kenyan National Assembly passed a motion calling for Kenya to withdraw from the ICC; the passage of the necessary legislation is expected by the end of the month. Read more »

Sudan’s Bashir in Nigeria

by John Campbell
Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir addresses a joint news conference with his South Sudan's counterpart Salva Kiir in Juba April 12, 2013. (Andreea Campeanu/Courtesy Reuters) Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir addresses a joint news conference with his South Sudan's counterpart Salva Kiir in Juba April 12, 2013. (Andreea Campeanu/Courtesy Reuters)

Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, is under indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has a warrant out for his arrest. He briefly attended a July 13-14 African Union (AU) health summit in Nigeria, but left when Nigerian human rights groups called for his arrest. The ICC justices in The Hague also issued a statement reminding Nigeria of its obligation to “honor its warrants” and hand over Bashir. Read more »

Kenya and the ICC

by John Campbell
President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta (R) greets his supporters with his running mate, former cabinet minister William Ruto after attending a news conference in Nairobi March 9, 2013. (Siegfried Modola/Courtesy Reuters) President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta (R) greets his supporters with his running mate, former cabinet minister William Ruto after attending a news conference in Nairobi March 9, 2013. (Siegfried Modola/Courtesy Reuters)

Kenya, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and, by extension, the international community currently face the dilemma of dealing with a president and a deputy president, freely and fairly elected (more or less; many questions remain) that are charged with crimes against humanity associated with 2007 election bloodshed. Africa Confidential has an excellent review of the current state of play. Read more »

Nigerian Security Services Out of Control

by John Campbell
Recovered weapons, personal items and bodies of some members of the Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram are seen in Bama, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. May 7, 2013. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) Recovered weapons, personal items and bodies of some members of the Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram are seen in Bama, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. May 7, 2013. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

The May 8 New York Times carries above the fold an Adam Nossiter story, “Bodies Pour in as Nigeria Rounds Up Islamists.” The story mostly consists of horrific reports of Nigerian security services (army and police) abuses of Northern Nigerian citizens, alleged members of or connected to Boko Haram, a radical Islamic insurgency. Nossiter notes that Boko Haram is “thoroughly enmeshed” in the local population making it difficult to root out the insurgents. He observes that security service brutality “…has turned many residents against the military, driving some toward the insurgency…” The security services and the Jonathan administration in Abuja continue to flatly deny that any abuses are happening, much less systematically carried out; despite the testimony of a wide range of credible northern observers. Read more »

Kenya Elections

by John Campbell
Kenya's Chief Justice Willy Mutunga (3rd L) leads the Supreme Court Judges Njoki Ndungu (L-R), Philip Tunoi, Jackton Ojwang, Mohamed Ibrahim and Smokin Wanjala, in Kenya's capital Nairobi, March 30, 2013. (Noor Khamis/Courtesy Reuters) Kenya's Chief Justice Willy Mutunga (3rd L) leads the Supreme Court Judges Njoki Ndungu (L-R), Philip Tunoi, Jackton Ojwang, Mohamed Ibrahim and Smokin Wanjala, in Kenya's capital Nairobi, March 30, 2013. (Noor Khamis/Courtesy Reuters)

While violence broke out sporadically, post-election Kenya is far from the domestic Armageddon that followed the 2007 elections. Uhuru Kenyatta, under indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity in the aftermath of those elections, will be sworn-in as president this month following the 2013 elections judged credible by the Supreme Court. His chief rival, Raila Odinga, has accepted the Court’s ruling, and has conceded. Read more »