WINDHOEK – The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) has expressed its support for the stance of the African Union (AU) on the International Criminal Court (ICC), which calls for the ICC not to indict sitting African heads of state, and that the ICC defer by one year the prosecution of Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta and vice president William Ruto.
The SPYL in a statement by its Secretary for Information and Mobilisation Job Amupanda says it is elated that the AU has put practical effect to its decision by formally asking the United Nations Security Council to defer by one year the ICC crimes against humanity trials of the two Kenyan leaders. The SPYL supports the view of the AU that the trials may pose a threat to the ongoing efforts in the promotion of peace, national healing and reconciliation, as well as the rule of law and stability in Kenya and the region. “The fact that the ICC wants to pursue these cases in the face of the security challenges faced by the people of Kenya is a demonstration of its flagrant disregard and disrespect for African leaders. The SPYL therefore expresses the hope that the AU’s formal request to the ICC to postpone the case against the Kenyan leaders shall be favourably considered,” according to the youth wing of the ruling party. The SPYL also calls on the African Union to use its “new found vigour” to tirelessly fight for Africa’s rightful place as a major player in world affairs.
“The continental body (AU) has long been known as a lame duck or talking shop, but its discussion and subsequent stance on the ICC has demonstrated that the AU can be a force to reckon with on the international front. The SPYL calls on African leaders to continue their resilience and protection of African rights,” he said. The youth wing also calls on the AU to press ahead with its position on the reform of the United Nations Security Council, saying President Hifikepunye Pohamba, and Founding President Sam Nujoma, have long advocated for the reform of the United Nations, but no progress has been seen to date.
By Tonateni Shidhudhu