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Africa’s Spy Chiefs Poke ICC to Drop Arrest Warrants

by KT Press Staff Writer
6:15 pm
President Paul Kagame at the 13th Conference for the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services in Africa (CISSA)

President Paul Kagame(r) at the 13th Conference for the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services in Africa (CISSA)

African spy chiefs have recommended ICC to suspend all arrest warrants and prosecutions against African leaders to first clean its house.

During their 13th Conference for the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services in Africa (CISSA) that concluded on August 5th in Kigali, spy chiefs made a-19 article declaration on the growing threat of universal jurisdiction against Africa.

The declaration mainly intends to review African relations with ICC, following targeted indictments against African nationals in the benefit of some countries’ foreign policies.

One provision in the declaration says “Member services renew AU appeal for a moratorium on all pending arrest warrants and prosecutions filed against African leaders or other high ranking officials until discussions among all stake holders are concluded and all stalemate is resolved.”

Currently, ICC has four cases under pre-trial stage where arrest warrants against suspects were issued. They all involve Africans, including three from Sudan and one from Kenya.

It also includes four cases at trial level, all of them involving Africans, and one case in appeal which involves a Congolese national.

Three cases under reparation level and five cases that were recently closed also involve Africans.

Participants reaffirmed their commitment to collectively confront the growing threats of universal jurisdiction.

Spy chiefs resolved to create a network of information sharing regarding International non-government organizations with malicious activities targeting Africa.

As far as Rwanda is concerned, the case could include Human Right Watch which has on several occasions released biased reports against the country.

Recently Human Rights Watch claimed in its report that the country was “cleaning the capital city by sending the poor into illegal detention areas”.

Rwanda called the claim “irresponsible human rights activism, subjective reports the organization is trading to survive.”

Spy chiefs committed to ensure respect of international laws especially considering immunity of State officials.

During the African Union summit last month, the media asked Rwandan authorities whether Al Bashir, Sudanese President on ICC arrest warrant would be arrested in Rwanda.

However, Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s foreign affairs Minister responded that African leaders respect a principle; “none can be arrested while on duty assigned to him by his/her constituency.”

Participants recommended States applying international jurisdictions, to first consult concerned states before indicting their nationals.

Earlier during the launch of CISSA, President Paul Kagame told spy chiefs that, “For a long time some parts of the world seemed more important than others and lives of the people there somehow more valuable.”

He said that Africans have had enough and no longer tolerate cynical manipulation imposed on them.

Rwanda is not signatory to the Rome treaty that establishes ICC. However, selfish interests of some Western jurisdictions, have affected the country at several occasions.