KIGALI, (CAJ News) – A Rwandan cabinet minister has accused the International Criminal Court of selective application of the law following its handling of African cases.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, accused the court both of racism and of manipulation of international justice.
“Who would not support international justice? But the practice is that the lighter skin you are, the less guilty you are,” said the outspoken minister.
She added, “You are not going to convince me that African countries are sitting here with total independence to do what they want. We don’t live in the same world.”
Concerning reports about targeted killings, disappearances, and the harassment of civil society groups in her country, Mushikiwabo answered that Rwanda was “measured according to somebody else’s standards.”
“We have our own system,” she added.
Nonetheless, she admitted that her country did not adhere to international human rights standards.
“If you measure us against another system or your own views of rights and democracy and so forth, of course we are going to diverge.”
Her country suffered one of the worst atrocities in recent memory when ethnic clashes left between 500 000 and 1 million Rwandans dead.
In 1994, the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 955 established the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to judge people responsible for the genocide and other serious violations of international law in Rwanda.
As of 2009, ahead of the completion of its work the following year, the tribunal had finished 50 trials and convicted 29 accused persons.
– CAJ News