, ADDIS ABABA, Oct 12 – African heads of state on Saturday opened a special summit on relations with the International Criminal Court.
The African Union meeting is being held to urge the ICC not to prosecute sitting heads of state and defer the trials of Kenya’s leadership and Sudan’s president.
The meeting at the AU headquarters comes amid mounting tensions with the ICC, which has been accused of acting like a neo-colonialist institution that has singled out Africans since being set up as the world’s first permanent court to try genocide and war crimes.
“The UN security council and the ICC should work with us to enable the elected leadership of Kenya to fulfil their constitutional obligations by urgently considering deferment of the ICC proceedings against the president and Vice president of Kenya,” AU executive council head Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said.
In opening remarks to the summit, Zuma nevertheless said African nations should “do more to strengthen the capacity of our national and continental judicial systems… so that the ICC indeed becomes the court of last instance.”