Kampala Geopolitics Conference

The ICC and Africa: A complicated relationship?

Processing intro video. Please check back later.


The International Criminal Court (ICC) has, since 2002, claimed jurisdiction over all cultures and peoples – a sophisticated goal that it justifies by prosecuting only those crimes that violate the universal consensus of justice that concern the international community. Yet this impression is rarely shared on the African continent: African nations have accused the ICC of being a tool of Western imperialism and thus of targeting weaker African states. 10 out of 11 situations of opened investigations are located on the African continent. Even if the ICC recently launched preliminary investigations into non-African countries, the court’s attempt to prosecute heads of states such as Uhuru Kenyatta and Umar Al-Bashir only added fuel to the fire. African nations have consequently threatened to withdraw from the RSICC – Burundi and South Africa leading this trend. Is the ICC’s jurisdiction factually restricted to Africa? Is the court hesitant to charge criminals from more influential countries? Or is, in fact, Africa the trouble-making spot on this planet?

Meet the Panelists