The Chairman of Pan African Forum Dr David Matsanga has slammed the International Criminal Court over the manner in which it's handling alleged war crimes probe of atrocities committed in the Darfur region under ousted president Omar al-Bashir.
Matsanga who played a fundamental function in exoneration of both President William Ruto and former head of state Uhuru Kenyatta after their charges of crimes against humanity were withdrawn said the reputation of the Hague based court has been destroyed in front of the International community.
"Mr Secretary General truth be told;the two previous Chief Prosecutors of ICC ruined the image of the court in front of International community. It would be unfair to those wrongly accused like the case of Sudan Darfur situation where witnesses were procured, airlifted and given incentives to lie against General Bashir and others in the cases before ICC which the new Prosecutor Mr Karim Khan has just briefed the UNSC on the same" noted the tough talking Matsanga.
In August last year, the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, gave the first ever Security Council briefing from within a country where the court is pursuing justice in Darfur which is a region of western Sudan.
However Matsanga says the former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir trial for genocide after he backed mostly-Arab militias with a scorched earth policy against Darfur's ethnic minority does not hold water.
"The ICC suspects in all African cases have similar fates and have had no recourse to International mechanism of Restitution. The Sudan Darfur ICC Investigations were a complete sham.They involved bribery of the witnesses and the investigators from the OTP were compromised.It is sad that most supporters of the court are adamant that justice may take its course " added the conflict resolution expert.
Sudan is not a State Party to the Rome Statute. However, since the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC in Resolution 1593 (2005) on 31 March 2005, the ICC may exercise its jurisdiction over crimes listed in the Rome Statute committed on the territory of Darfur, Sudan, or by its nationals from 1 July 2002 onwards.
In 2014,the Ugandan scholar was allowed to make observations to the International Criminal Court in the cases involving Mr Kenyatta and President Ruto and subsequently appeared before then led Fatou Bensouda court as a “friend of the court” or amicus curiae.
“The recent ruling on the financial statements of Mr Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta is, in my respectful submission, one most deleterious to the court’s standing. Hence my application for amicus curiae status in this case,” read Dr Matsanga’s court papers.
According to him, the chief prosecutor Bensouda lost the cases when she said witnesses OTP4, OTP11, and OTP12 gave false testimonies.
Darfur’s descent into genocidal conflict began in early 2003, who two rebel groups took up arms against the Sudanese Government, which they accused of discrimination against the non-Arab population of the region, starving it of resources.
The Government response was to carry out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against non-Arabs, co-opting mostly Arab Janjaweed militia. Hundreds of thousands were killed and several million displaced during the brutal fighting, with the Janjaweed burning and pillaging hundreds of villages across Darfur.