RE: “French complicity in the Genocide: the role of senior military officers” (The New Times, November 1). I think that those French military officers should be tried by the ICC for their role in the Genocide against the Tutsi.
No, in a just world, they should be extradited to Rwanda to be tried for their abominable crimes. The ICC jurisdiction doesn’t cover crimes committed before the treaty establishing it came into force. Rwanda also is not a signatory of the Court, for good reason — we saw first-hand the abuse of international ‘court’ systems with the processes at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha.
In setting up the ICTR, the UN Security Council structured it very carefully to ensure it would not touch French or any other western accomplices in the Genocide against the Tutsi. Because these courts are set up by or with the blessing of the UNSC (of which France is a permanent and veto-wielding member) without whose forbearance or even approval they cannot function, there is no possibility that Rwanda could ever receive justice from them for crimes (including that of genocide—recognised as a crime against the entire humanity and which has no term of limitations).
The ICC is also thoroughly corrupt — it takes its marching orders from the powerful countries which pay for its keep, and who because of their power (singly or in league) are the most likely to commit aggression against weaker nations, because they have the means and the disposition to do so (including the need for other people’s resources or the desire to dominate as the French do their ‘former’ colonies in Africa in order to be able to retain its status as a global power).
In going after the weak, completely ignoring the powerful countries more prone to commit international crimes, the ICC has violated the cardinal rule of justice: dispense it indifferently and make the powerful and the weak equal before the law. As a result, more and more Africans now see it as less of a tool for justice and as merely another neo-colonial means of control, of which there are already plenty in the world.
But there is plenty of value in indicting these French Genocide suspects and issuing international arrest warrants for their extradition to Rwanda for trial, even if we all know the possibility of ever seeing a western country execute such a warrant are almost zero — they all hang together where their respective fundamental interests are concerned. But these individuals will all the same be international suspects, with the mark of Cain forever on their heads. Unless, of course, miracle of miracles, they come of their own volition to clear their names in a Rwandan court of law. But don’t hold your breath about that happening.