American Scholar Faults ICC on Kenyan Cases: Waste of International funds?
Virginia Beach, Virginia:If you think the ICC will be gone soon, or Kenya’s withdrawal would affect its mandate, think again. The power of the ICC was demonstrated when the United Nations Security Council voted against the request by Kenya to have the cases referred. The ICC and the ICTR have nothing to do with political power and will. Rather it has all the underpinnings of big money. The Golden Rule still remains, Gold Rules!
It is this troubling factor that Eric Patterson (PhD), Dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University in Virginia Beach criticizes. He is also the author of Ending Wars Well (Yale University Press). We sat recently in his office at Regent. He says that, “The nobility of the ICC and the ICTR has historically been hijacked by financial interest.” According to Dr. Patterson, these international tribunals fail because they have no accountability. After their inception, they were left to the European bureaucrats to manage them. Those countries that are signatories to the Rome Statute, which created the ICC, have not paid attention to their management. He gives example of some of the countries that are signatories, “You … know that many countries in South America signed the treaty. Yet they are the least participants in any international program. They do not care.” That is why ICTR has over 400 employees and after years of existence has nothing to show.
In signing the Rome Statute, these countries knew that it was not going to affect them. The purpose of the treaty was more to deter African dictators than to deal with matters of international political criminality. “If you calculate the amount of money spent by these organizations, and relate it to their ‘success’, you will find that it is nothing but waste of international funds,” he said. He argues that the way to deal with rogue dictators is in the methodology used to get Charles M. G. Taylor. Calling Taylor ‘the worst of human forms’, he argues that the negotiated deal that led him to leave Liberia should have been kept. He said that, “The Nigerians should have kept him in their country. This would have given incentive to people like Mugabe and Bashir of Sudan to retire or resign.” But with the ICC mandate and overreach, and the justified perception by Africans that these institutions are nothing but manhunts for African leaders,
“The principle of deterrence is lost,” Dr. Patterson said in regret.
In the case of Kenya, Dr. Patterson is quick to point out that it does not meet the threshold of the Rome Statute. “Most of these issues raised in the Kenyan case are matters which should be dealt with regionally or by the African Union,” he argued. According to him, IGAD, The East African Community and the African Union should be the ones to deal with election violence. Kenya’s violence was post- election, not genocide or crimes against humanity. “The methods these international criminal courts are using are counterproductive and do nothing to stop political violence.” The evidence of his argument is seen in the recent massacre in South Sudan.
However, according to Dr. Patterson, Africans, and especially Kenyans, should not blame the West for their predicament. It is these countries that agreed to the methodology of the ICC. “Most African countries agreed to give these institutions power over their sovereignty. It is they to blame for not being ‘man’ enough to deal with their own crisis. However, now that these institutions are active, do not expect them to go away,” he warned. He believes that after those institutions hired hundreds of employees, they needed money to keep going. “As long as they have money coming in from somewhere, they will continue to look for ways to justify their existence. That is one reason the United States is not a signatory member.”
After our conversation, I felt sorry for our President and his Deputy. Remember they had a chance to create a national tribunal, but chose The Hague! I also wonderdered why ICC Prosecutor Bensouda is going after Uhuru Kenyatta’s bank accounts. Could it be that the more bank accounts they freeze, the more justification they find to go after other rich African politicians? Could it be that the money seized from Charles MacArthur Taylor and Muammar al Gaddafi will find its way to ICC’s bank accounts? You must wonder.
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Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD) Leaguekenya.org