A kangaroo court
T he SWAPO Party Youth League (SPYL) has keenly followed discussions and debates around the issue of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The rank and file of the SPYL is heartened by the recent developments on the ICC.
The SPYL expresses its support to the AU on its concern regarding the politicisation and misuse of indictments against African leaders by ICC as well as at the unprecedented indictments of and proceedings against the sitting President and Deputy President (Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, respectively) of Kenya in light of the recent developments in that country.
The SPYL also supports the decision of the Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union that no charges shall be commenced or continued before any international court or tribunal against any serving African Head of State and/or Government or anybody acting or entitled to act in such capacity during their term of office.
In that respect, the SPYL is elated that the AU has put practical effect to its decision by formally asking the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday 22 October, 2013 to defer for one year the International Criminal Court (ICC) crimes against humanity trials of Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.
The SPYL supports the view of the AU that the trials may pose a threat to the ongoing efforts in the promotion of peace, national healing and reconciliation as well as the rule of law and stability in Kenya and the region.
The fact that the ICC wants to pursue these cases in the face of the security challenges faced by the people of Kenya is a demonstration of its flagrant disregard and disrespect for African leaders. The SPYL, therefore, expresses the hope that the AU’s formal request to the ICC to postpone the case against the Kenyan leaders shall be favourably considered.
In conclusion, the SPYL calls on the African Union, to use its new-found vigour to tirelessly fight for Africa’s rightful place as a major player of world affairs. The continental body (the AU) has long been known as a lame duck or talking shop but its discussion and subsequent stance on the ICC has demonstrated that the AU can be a force to reckon with on the international front.
The SPYL calls on the African Leaders to continue their resilience and protection of African rights. The SPYL also calls on the AU to press ahead with its position on the reform of the United Nations Security Council. Namibia’s President Hifikepunye Pohamba, and Founding President Sam Nujoma before him, have long advocated for the reform of the United Nations but no progress has been seen to date.
Their long-held view, which the SPYL supports, is that the current system marginalises the continent supplying a substantial number of UN memberships. In the aftermath of the Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, particularly its tough stance on the ICC, the African leaders are called upon to maintain that energy and continue to fight for justice and fairness for all Africans.
The SPYL, as the vanguard transmitter of the SWAPO Party’s ideals, stands steadfast behind the Namibian government and the AU on these matters and pledges its support to mobilise the youth to engage in constructive debates on matters of African interest and to take action that will serve the interest of Africa and her people.
The young people of Namibia and Africa should be prepared at all times to continue the struggle for total emancipation of the African people on all fronts. Remaining silent in the face of diplomatic and psychological adversity will only strengthen the hand of those who have a desire to recolonise Africa.