Outside Official Channels

On the tenth anniversary of the International Criminal Court last week, the deputy prosecutor traveled to Nigeria to hear evidence against four Central African states. Cases of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity are generally referred to the ICC by states or state-serving institutions like the UN Security Council.

Generally speaking, this is a good thing, but non-state entities like Fourth World nations and NGOs are also welcome to communicate with the court. In the case of Nigeria itself (not currently under investigation, despite a forty-year campaign of genocide against Biafra), listening to parties unrepresented by institutions like the UN is essential to lending an appearance of fairness to the court’s humanitarian mandate.

With the announced intention of escalating state-sponsored violence in Nigeria, endorsed by the UK earlier this month, relying on the US or European powers is tantamount to malign neglect. With half the world’s remaining mineral resources located in Africa, and states like China and Great Britain arming local dictators to take them, the only voice for those being plundered is mostly outside official channels.

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~ by Jay Taber on July 29, 2008.

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