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Vol 54 No 21

Published 18th October 2013

African Union challenges the ICC

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Sudan’s President Omer Hassan Ahmed el Beshir have much reason to thank African Union Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Well before the AU’s extraordinary summit on the International Criminal Court on 11-12 October, Dlamini-Zuma made it clear that she would back the call for a deferral of the ICC cases against the Kenyan and Sudanese leaders. We hear Dlamini-Zuma raised the issue in a meeting between AU officials and the United Nations Security Council during the UN General Assembly in New York in the week ending 28 September. Her defenders say she saw the deferral request as a way of defusing a complete breakdown in relations between the AU and ICC. Others are far more critical of her unwillingness to listen to the views of fellow South African Desmond Tutu and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who warn that the decisions in Addis Ababa could fatally weaken the Court.

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