"Time to think of millions of African victims" ICC's Bensouda tells RFI
The newly-elected Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Fatou Bensouda, told RFI on Tuesday that it was time to stop exonerating criminals and think about the millions of African victims they had created.
Fatou Bensouda, a former Gambian Justice minister, was unanimously elected on Monday to take over from Luis Moreno-Ocampo in June.
She dismissed suggestions that her appointment to the International Criminal Court was intended to change the perception in Africa that the ICC is used by the West as a way of getting rid of troublesome African leaders.
“My origin has nothing to do with my job", she told RFI's Karim Lebhour, "I am not an African or a European prosecutor. My first responsibility is to deliver justice for victims ...we target those responsible for crimes.”
Bensouda went on to point out that it was usually African leaders themselves who ask the ICC to intervene. “Let’s be clear,” she said, “the ICC does not pursue Africans. The ICC is on the side of African victims.”
She declared that the ICC was very worried about what was going on in Syria, but because the country was not a signatory to the Treaty of Rome, the Court could do little.
Fatou Bensouda said there was a great deal of propaganda peddled about the ICC and a lack of understanding about its purpose. “Many try to politicise the ICC decisions”, she commented, while explaining that she would like to change its image. “It is time to think about the millions of African victims.”
Fatou Bensouda was interviewed by RFI’s New York correspondent Karim Lebhour.