African Union accuses ICC of 'hunting' Africans


A view of the new African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa on January 24, 2012. The towering building – Addis Ababa’s tallest – was built by China and symbolizes the country's strengthening ties with Africa.



The African Union (AU) on Monday accused the International Criminal Court (ICC) of "hunting" Africans because of racial bias.

"African leaders have come to a consensus that the (ICC) process that has been conducted in Africa has a flaw," AU chair and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn told reporters. "The intention was to avoid any kind of impunity... but now the process has degenerated to some kind of race hunting."

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Speaking at the end of the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Hailemariam said African leaders thought that of those indicted by the ICC, "99 percent are Africans."

The AU stated its opposition to the ICC trying Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on charges of crimes against humanity and said it wanted the trials of Kenyan leaders to be moved to their home country. The group also said it would raise its concerns with the UN.

Kenyatta is set to stand trial in July. He denied the charges of crimes against humanity, which come from accusations that he fueled violence after a disputed election in 2007.

He was elected president of Kenya in March, defeating then-Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Analysts have said the ICC prosecutions of Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, helped their 2013 campaign, as the pair presented it as foreign interference in Kenyan domestic affairs.