African leaders discuss a license to kill

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – South African Nobel peace
laureate Desmond Tutu warned African leaders
against leaving the International Criminal Court on
Wednesday, October 9 saying it would leave the world
a "more dangerous place".
In an online petition titled "Who will stop the next
genocide?", the 82-year-old anti-apartheid hero said
that in his lifetime he had seen "great gains made
that protect the weak from the strong".
He cautioned that "in just two days time, African
leaders could kill off a great institution, leaving the
world a more dangerous place."
The 54-member African Union will meet on Friday,
October 11, to debate a possible withdrawal from the
war crimes court over claims that it targets the
Adding to growing cautions on such a move, Tutu
called on continental heavyweights South Africa and
Nigeria to back The Hague-based tribunal.
Calling the two countries the "voices of reason at the
African Union," he urged them to "speak out and
ensure that the persecuted are protected by the ICC".
Tutu said the ICC was the world’s first and only court
to try crimes against humanity, and accused the
leaders of Sudan and Kenya, "who have inflicted
terror and fear across their countries" of trying to
"drag Africa out of the ICC, allowing them the
freedom to kill, rape, and inspire hatred without
The petition is addressed to South African President
Jacob Zuma and his Nigerian counterpart Goodluck
"Without the political leadership of Nigeria and South
Africa and other democracies across the continent,
justice could be buried and the ICC could be killed
off," its text states.
"We call on you to lead the fight against crimes
against humanity and keep Africa in the ICC."
Asking people to add their names, Tutu said once the
petition had hit one million signatures, it would be
delivered to leaders at the AU meeting.
The AU has accused the court of singling out Africans
for prosecution and demanded that proceedings
against Kenya’s leadership linked to 2007-2008 post-
election violence be dropped.
Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan said Monday,
October 7 it would be a "badge of shame" for Africa
if its leaders voted to leave the International Criminal
Court, in a lecture marking Tutu’s 82nd birthday.


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