I will consult whether to pull out of ICC-Lungu
President Edgar Lungu has said that Zambia needs to consult widely before any decision to pull out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is made.
President Lungu told Journalists shortly before departure for Botswana this afternoon that he will need to ask the people of Zambia on what they think before considering to pull out of the ICC.
President Lungu said that Zambia needs to study the matter critically before making any decision. The President noted that this was a matter for the nation that needed critical engagement, before adding that that Zambia will raise this issue at the forthcoming African Peer Review Mechanism meeting.
The African Union (AU) has called for the mass withdrawal of member states from the International Criminal Court. Foreign ministers agreed to a plan for pulling out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and immediately begin work on local justice mechanisms, saying The Hague-based court, offered little chance of advancing justice in the continent.
Foreign Ministers from 28 countries agreed to back the mass withdrawal of all the countries that have signed the Rome Statute although the call would not be imposed on any member state.
The decision to withdraw from the ICC has been at the forefront of discussions at the AU, but this is the first time that the AU’s Open-Ended Ministerial Committee on the ICC, currently chaired by Ethiopia, with Algeria, Burundi, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda, as its management bureau.
The countries which participated at the ministerial meeting on the ICC were Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Chad, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Equatorial Guinea.
The others were Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The AU Executive Council, which wound up its meeting last month after preparing the AU Summit agenda, adopted a new strategy on how to manage justice in Africa after the ICC exit.
While the Executive Council adopted the decision to pull out of the ICC, the final steps on when to pull out would be made by the countries on an individual basis. However, those which agree to pull out of the court agreed to do so simultaneously.
The ministers of foreign affairs agreed reforms, which include purging the UN Security Council, from referring cases to the Court is dealt with.
The ministers also raised issues about the evaluation of evidence and how witnesses appearing at the ICC were chosen.
During the ministerial debate, the foreign ministers agreed to use the case of South Africa in dealing with the post apartheid regime elements as a case in point on handling justice in Africa.