By Niklas Jakobsson
The president of the Assembly of States Parties, Senegalese Minister Sidiki Kaba, spent last week jetting around the African continent. After being elected last December to head the ASP, Kaba has been very vocal on issues relating to the International Criminal Court.
His latest efforts to strengthen the ICC involved a series of visits with several countries and officials which have a spotty track record when it comes to supporting the court (and co-operating). After touching down in Nairobi, Kaba met with several prominent Kenyan officials to discuss the relationship between the Court and that African country.
Kenyan president, and former ICC indictee, Uhuru Kenyatta took to social media in order to express his support for the Court. If you’ve followed Kenya’s fraught relationship with the Court, the tweet Kenyatta sent out might’ve raised an eyebrow or two.
After his following tweet, President Kenyatta might want Twitter to implement the Edit function come Wednesday’s appeals decision on non-cooperation.
Kaba’s trip also included a meeting with representatives of the African Union in Addis Ababa. During his visit, the ASP president highlighted the need for a new relationship between the Court and the African Union. Although the visits by Kaba look promising on the surface, it’s difficult to say what impact – if any – they’ll have on the Court’s already rocky relationship with several African states.
To finish off what must have been a busy week, Sidiki Kaba met with the European Union delegation to the African Union. Although the priorities of their talk might make sense in the broader context of the ICC, one can argue that it was more a promotional meet and greet rather than a productive session with concrete results.
But I shouldn’t complain too much about Kaba’s endeavours. His current attempts to develop the relationship between the ICC and member states is commendable. However, it’s important that we take these trips for what they are: public relations trips.
It’s important to highlight the need for a good cooperation between the Court and all its member states, regardless of previous or ongoing investigations and cases. But so far there has been no clear model for anyone to improve the relationships and cooperation between the Court and its members. Maybe Kaba flying all over the place, lobbying for the Court, is the answer. But I doubt it will be.
- What is your position on Kenya’s latest commitment to the ICC?
- What is needed for a better relationship between the ICC and its member states?
Lead image: Sidiki Kaba, ASP President (Photo: Dagan Rossini/African Peacebuilding Network)
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