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Does the ICC disrupt peace efforts?

Africa HYS team | 10:25 UK time, Thursday, 10 March 2011


Does the pursuit of justice sometimes gets in the way of peace?


Kenya violence in 2008   

The International Criminal Court has summoned six high profile Kenyans accused of orchestrating the violence that followed the disputed 2007 elections.

The Africa Union is backing the Kenyan government's request to the United Nations Security Council for the ICC to defer the trial. The government argues, that with a new constitution in place, it will set up a local tribunal to try them. They say sending the six to the Hague could threaten the stability of the country.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir is also wanted in The Hague. But some African leaders argue that arresting him could destabilise Sudan and the East African region. 

Do you think that the pursuit of justice can hinder peace efforts? Or should it be pursued at all costs? Is justice delayed really justice denied?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Thursday 10 March at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.


  • Comment number 1.

    The pursuit of justice should be sought for by those who are hurt by the actions of others.
    So if those pursuing justice are those who have been hurt, in this case, the Sudanese of Kenyans are the ones to bring a case before the courts for actions to be taken against the perpetrators. When it happens this way justice would not hinder peace since it will be fair. When you have the international community trying to pursue this course then you would find people not agreeing with it. They would also think that the pursuers have some ill motives.

  • Comment number 2.

    Peace and conflict are man made and are used to sustain the certain cliques in power. This situation may not be unique to Africa and is applicable to all democratic countries and institutions that do not have solid succession structures in place. In Africa, those privilleged to take leadership tend to use the opportunity to amass wealth and to protect their cronies who fear prosecution for bad behaivior. On this basis, I salute Malawi for putting past leadership to the doc.
    In the case of Kenya, Sudan and Ivory Coast; and may be Libya, it is simply bad management instituted by the few or the inner circle that surround leadership.Therefore, ICC cases at hand may be used as a deterrent measure but the individual African countries need to set up appropirate legal structures: constitutions and legislations. Kenya for now has been working to corrupt the newly adopted constitution for the benefit of a afew. This behavior needs to be stopped, otherwise future generations will never inherit or experience good institutions.

  • Comment number 3.

    i think ICC may face a lot of rejection and lack of support from African nations due to the fact that all african nations are supporting kenya for defferal. It will be urgued that ICC is a voice for western countries and has no regard to any africa's resolution.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    well with the ICC summons to the african leaders need counseling on how they should be mindfull of other peaple.we still have idps in kenya and yet they are not care-ring

  • Comment number 8.

    It is an idiotic argument, but alas, of the kind that one has come to expect of our rulers and so-called "intellectuals." Take the issue of stability. What could possibly destabilize a country any more than when a ruler decides to unleash a wave of murderous attacks against millions of his fellow citizens, as happened in Kenya and Darfur? Yet, we're invited to accept that attempting to bring the principal perpetrators to account would somehow threaten instability.

    I also often hear the argument that international tribunals are biased against African rulers. This, I have to say, is perfectly valid, because Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadic, and Pol Pot's lieutenants in Cambodia are all African.

    If our rulers and "intellectuals" are capable of spouting these kinds of thoughtless drivel, is it any wonder that they can't provide our longsuffering people with even such basics as pipe-borne water or healthcare?

  • Comment number 9.

    Justice should be pursued at all cost,but not pursued with tainted hands.The credibilty of this court is in serious jeopardy. International now seems to refer to Africa and Eastern Europe as only those opposed to US and its allies stand trial.Meanwhile not deviating from the essence of justice,perpetrators of crime should be brought before courts irrespective of their geographical or colour orientation

  • Comment number 10.

    The ICC is itself a political organisation aim at victimising the weak and those who have fallen out of favour with the rich or impeRIAL POWERS. It is a complete ridicULE TO THE NOTION OF justice and African countries must withdraw from that farce.

    The trial of Taylor without bringing to the dock those with whom he traded in diamond and bought weapons makes it possible for continuos trade and with all impunity in blood diamnond, blood gold, blood timber, blood oil, blood uranioum, blood ore, blood cobalt etc to continue in Africa since those doing it now are still in the correct books of this organisation called the ICC as well as their friends. The number of comments awaiting moderation certainly indicates that writers have not written what Harding was expecting to hear. He may then have to select his readers.

  • Comment number 11.

    Arresting these six Kenyans and taking them to The Hague just to prove a point does not hold water. Rather, it will escalate violence in Kenya. Of what benefit will it serve Kenyans if when these men are whisked to The Hague, war breaks out in their country? Wisdom and intelligence should be applied in pursuing peace and justice in Kenya. As for sudan no body should talk about taking Umar El-Bashir to The Hague now to avoid another blood shed in the country. For now, justice should be sacrificed at the altar of peace. Nsukka, Enugu state, Nigeria.


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