The ICC does not solicit cases despite what many may believe. It is actually the court of last resort. Cases are referred through State parties (that are member states who have signed on to the treaty) in accordance with Article 14 of the Rome Statute or through referral by the Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the UN. The Office of the Prosecutor can also initiate an investigation upon complaints brought to it by individuals and organizations. The Office of the Prosecutor has conducted or is currently conducting an investigation in Honduras, Georgia, Republic of Korea, Palestine, and Afghanistan in addition to several African countries. To date, Uganda, Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic have referred situations occurring or have occurred in their countries to the ICC. Public Policy 

Africa and the International Criminal Court: Uneasy Lies the Head

  The Editor, The International Criminal Court  (ICC) is a “permanent tribunal created to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crimes of aggression.”  Its jurisdiction covers “the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole (Preamble 2) and in cases where national trials would not occur or would be ineffective (Preamble 3).”   The nations of the world found it necessary to create the ICC as they were “conscious that all peoples are united by common bonds, their cultures pieced together in a shared heritage, and concerned that this delicate…

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This fact is often framed as a continent-wide struggle between the ancient and the modern, between Africa’s age-old tribal allegiances and its modern political institutions inherited from Europe. According to this narrative, African societies are yet to be fully reformed by modern life. When faced with elections therefore, voters continue to express old tribal solidarities rather than deciding based on ideology or policy. This argument presents European colonialism as a civilising mission against the customary order, albeit one which failed to fully de-tribalise its subjects. The 1884 Berlin Conference, far from dividing Africa among European powers, becomes seen as a unifying exercise that brought tribes together into modern political entities. As foreign affairs commentator Jonathan Power wrote in a 2006 article for The New York Times: Op-ed 

Colonialists didn’t fail to root out Africa’s tribal politics. They created it.

Standing in line at a Nairobi polling station to cast my ballot in Kenya’s 2017 presidential election, I struck up a conversation with fellow voters in the queue. The result was a foregone conclusion, said one of the gentlemen proudly. We had the numbers and our candidate was going to win. Everyone else agreed. No one needed to ask which candidate we would be voting for. That was another foregone conclusion. We were speaking in Kikuyu, and the Kikuyus were voting for President Uhuru Kenyatta. In the end, Kenyatta was…

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President Paul Kagame has talked about the possibility of not running for a fourth term, noting that his wish is for a woman to replace him when he retires from office. “My wish is that one day, a woman takes up this position that you gave me,” Kagame told delegates during the Nation Address at the 17th National Annual Dialogue last Thursday. He has previously made similar claims, notably in 2017 when he said he “can only accept” to run for a third term after being persuaded by the Rwandan population. While it would be difficult to dislodge a president who is credited with the nation’s economic transformation, no woman has made it to the ballot for the presidency in Rwanda’s history despite the president’s wish. Only two women have attempted to run for the top seat—Victoire Ingabire in 2010 and Diane Rwigara in 2017. Their attempts were, however, short-lived and unsuccessful as both were arrested shortly after announcing their bids to run against Kagame. Related Stories KAGAME: Less talk, more action will bring the change we need in EA KAGAME: Less talk, more action will bring the change we need in EA Rwanda as a City State, and Africa’s World Cup win Rwanda as a City State, and Africa’s World Cup win Advertisement Potential successors The ruling party, RPF, has notable women who have previously risen through the ranks and are seen as potential successors once Kagame decides to pass on the button. Experts say Rwanda has a pool of women leaders who can match the challenge. The Cabinet is 52 per cent female while they make up 68 per cent of parliament. “There are many young and experienced women in political offices now. One name that comes up to me easily is Louise Mushikiwabo, who has vast experience in leadership and can take the challenge,” Ismail Buchanan, a professor of politics told The EastAfrican. “But most importantly, I think it is not about a particular individual but the need for continuation of Rwanda’s (upward) trajectory.” Still energetic Ms Mushikiwabo is the secretary-general of Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and previously served as Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of Rwanda from 2009 to 2018. A week ago, President Kagame had again talked up his retirement, this time in a more subtle manner. While attending the 2019 Doha Forum, he answered “most likely not” to a question on whether he will seek for a fourth term in 2024. “I don’t know yet, but most likely no. When I say most likely, I mean I don’t want to lock myself into anything. I want to have some breathing space,” Kagame said. “But I think that given the way things are or have been in the past, it depends on two things. But I think I have made up my mind where am concerned personally that it is not going to happen next time.” President Kagame won a resounding third term in 2017 by 99 per cent of the vote, following a referendum in 2015 that suspended term limits. Before that, Kagame had made several suggestions that he might not seek a third term, but changed his mind after the constitution was amended in 2015 with 98 per cent voting to amend article 101 on presidential term limits. Now having served as president since 2000, he is alongside President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda as the longest-serving leader in the East African Community. The constitution allows him to run for another two five-year terms until 2034, and Mr Kagame says he still has a “lot of energy left to keep going” despite the economic transformation that he has overseen since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. “I can go on for several more years; I am not tired of doing what I am doing. I am working with my people and my country, and moving from the past of tremendous challenges but also making progress and creating hope for the people of Rwanda,” he said in Doha. He added: “It is never mission accomplished. As far as we are concerned, it is work-in-progress.” News 

President Paul Kagame wants to retire from office

President Paul Kagame has talked about the possibility of not running for a fourth term, noting that his wish is for a woman to replace him when he retires from office. “My wish is that one day, a woman takes up this position that you gave me,” Kagame told delegates during the Nation Address at the 17th National Annual Dialogue recently. He has previously made similar claims, notably in 2017 when he said he “can only accept” to run for a third term after being persuaded by the Rwandan population.…

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What should be done? The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) is lobbying for joint military operations involving regional states. But intelligence sharing, border controls and efforts to win over local populations would be cheaper and more effective. Ecowas should redouble efforts to avert electoral crises that militants could use to their advantage. Public Policy 

Africa should not wait for jihadists to get stronger before our leaders act

By Cherbo Geeplay Today, everything we know says Africa is plagued with barrage of conflicting issues, and prominent amongst these is the looming threat of terrorism buckling at the feet of our leaders who are not proactive on the issue to fight the crime, even as migration or corruption spiral out of control, and caught between the scissors are our poor people who otherwise are the victims largely of these conflicts. They are caught in terrifying crosshair here—with little options available to them. When we are talking about Africa: the…

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Gifts are exchanged. On 31 December participants celebrate with a banquet of food often cuisine from various African countries. Participants greet one another with "Habari gani" which is Kiswahili for "how are you/ how's the news with you?" For further information about Kwanzaa, write to the University of Sankore Press, 2540 W. 54th St., Los Angeles, CA 90043. A children's book about KWANSA by Deborah Newton Chocolate is available through Childrens' Press, 1990, Chicago. Culled -Akwansosem is an outreach newsletter Editor's Desk 

Three Swahili Kwanzaa Phrases That Uncover The Holiday’s Origins

    Let’s take a moment to discover a little more about the week-long celebration of Kwanzaa, and the language that makes it so colorful — Swahili. The end of December brings a whole lot of joy to many different cultures and religions around the globe — some people light candles, some decorate trees, some perform intricate dances. As for Kwanzaa, a cultural holiday, it’s all about history, heritage, and and bringing African people together. 1. The meaning of Kwanzaa: Matunda ya kwanza Meaning ‘first fruits’ or ‘first fruits of…

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Ngũgĩ wa Thiongio will succeed Vinton Cerf, known for being one of the fathers of the Internet. Cerf was the first technologist to receive the prize, with other awarded figures including the philosopher Karl Popper, oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, politician Václav Havel, writer Doris Lessing, and activist Malala Yousafzai. The prize will be awarded to the Kenyan author during the first quarter of 2020 at a ceremony chaired by Catalan president Quim Torra.  Artists & Reviews 

Kenyan writer and activist Ngugi wa Thiong’o wins Catalonia International Prize

    The Kenyan writer and activist Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o has been awarded the 31st Catalonia International Prize given by the Catalan government, “for his distinguished and courageous literary work and his defense of African languages, based on the notion of language as culture and collective memory.” “Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is one of the most prolific and renowned African writers,” reads the jury’s communiqué. “In all the genres he cultivates – novels, essays, memoirs, theatre – he combines the most profound African traditions with a sensitive yet merciless description of the social…

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When the British colonial officers refused to give permits for demonstrations, activist Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti mobilized local market women for what she called “picnics” and festivals. One of few women in early 1920s Nigeria to receive post-primary education, Ransome-Kuti used her privilege to coordinate the resistance against colonialism in Nigeria that not only targeted the British but also the local traditional figureheads they used to enforce their rules. Tributes 

Africa has forgotten the women leaders of its independence struggle

When the British colonial officers refused to give permits for demonstrations, activist Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti mobilized local market women for what she called “picnics” and festivals. One of few women in early 1920s Nigeria to receive post-primary education, Ransome-Kuti used her privilege to coordinate the resistance against colonialism in Nigeria that not only targeted the British but also the local traditional figureheads they used to enforce their rules. The Abeokuta Women’s Union, which she founded, protested unjust taxes, corruption and the lack of women’s representation in decision-making corridors. While she is…

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When quizzed about what he made of the decision to lift a visa restriction ban on Bushiri and the clampdown on the church, Baeng said it was a private and personal issue. Baeng further confirmed that church followers were attending live television services, known as televangelism, while others were attending services in Pretoria. Public Policy 

Botswana Closes Down Bushiri’s Church

    Disciples now have to watch Major 1 on TV, while others come to SA to worship after the churches are deregistered for noncompliance It never rains, but it pours for flamboyant prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s Enlightened Christian Gathering church in Botswana, as government closes down all of his church branches following the deregistration of the organisation last year. As a result, disciples of Bushiri’s in Botswana have resorted to following their leader through his television channel, while those who have the means are travelling to South Africa on weekends…

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Note: While the political superstructure may have changed its features since the second imperialist war, the economic base of the society has remained the same. Under Tubman, it was a Black Apartheid state in the service of imperialist capitalism. Under Doe, it was a military dictatorship in the service of imperialist capitalism. Under Taylor, it was Black Fascism in the service of capitalism. The Ellen’s era ushered in a liberal democracy; not a popular democracy but a democracy in the service of neo-liberal capitalism. In the current era under the soccer dolt, the fatherland is drifting away from liberal democracy and neo-colonial capitalism back to Black fascism in the service of private ownership of the properties of production, free market economy and free trade. Under these different conditions, the major aim of the state has been to create the condition for the wholesale exploitation of labor and resources by foreign capital.    Op-ed 

William V.S. Tubman a betrayal of the cause of African Unity

The Editor, William V.S. Tubman was not only the ringleader of the right-wing True Whig Party oligarchy for 27years, he was also a poodle of American imperialism. These dispositions of Tubman mutated his reign into an autocracy and thus created devastating consequences not only for progressive nationalism in Liberia but also put a break on African unity. As the godfather of the right–wing oligarchy, Tubman wrecked the little gains made under the progressive President Edwin J. Barclay, who fought to construct a black republic that promotes the dignity of all…

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China’s activities in the African continent have yet to receive the attention they deserve in the West. China’s behavior in Africa is important for three major reasons. First, China is the source of significant investment capital twinned with a prodigious ability to create infrastructure, both of which are needed by many African states. Second, China’s behavior in Africa provides the rest of the world with insight into how it will behave towards other states, particularly the states of the Global South, as it becomes equal in power with the United States. Third, what China is doing in Africa does not augur well for the rest of the world. China’s activities and behavior in Africa may only be described as neo-colonial and exploitative of African peoples and the environment. Public Policy 

China Is In Africa To Control Its Resources: Chinese imperialism has come to Africa.

    Key point: China is in Africa now not to advance Maoism, but to control its resources, people, and potential.   Africa is on the cusp of a new period in its history, its renaissance. Freed from centuries of colonialism and neo-imperialism, Africa has the opportunity to become a center of economic might to provide prosperity to the continent’s growing population. Yet, at present, Africa unfortunately faces a new danger: Sino-imperialism, the risk of falling under the control of China largely through Chinese economic investment and loans. The People’s…

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