News and Ideas (44)
The day a grenade exploded at my feet should have scared me. Instead, it made me more determined. One life lost cannot erase the memory of 40,000 who per-ished during the dictatorship of president Hissene Habre in Chad. Whether it was me or someone else, I knew that one day those who were stolen from their families, tortured and beaten, would see justice.
From 1982 until 1990, Habre ruled my country of birth, Chad, after coming to power through a military coup. Through fear and intim-idation, assisted by his secret police, the Documentation and Security Directorate (DDS), he rounded up thousands of citi-zens, many of whom were then killed or "disappeared," until he was deposed by another coup and exiled to Senegal. It would take nearly 30 years be-fore he was brought to trial.
The recent decisions by South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) are generating wide attention and speculation about a mass exodus from the court by African countries. But think it’s clear where Africa stands on the ICC? Think again. A growing number of African governments have spoken out over the past week against withdrawal:
Stella Ndirangu of ICJ Kenya EXPAND Stella Ndirangu of the Kenya section of International Commission of Jurists. © 2016 Human Rights Watch
Côte d’Ivoire’s president, Alassane Ouattara, said in a local radio interview on November 1 that his country does not intend to leave the ICC.
Nigeria gave a strong statement in support of the ICC to the United Nations General Assembly on October 31, affirming “Nigeria’s continuous commitment to support and cooperate with the court.”
Senegal, at the UN General Assembly on October 31, “invite[d] all States Parties to contribute all of the assistance and cooperation necessary for the court.”