“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Will AU members really withdraw from the ICC?

African Union (AU) leaders have backed a strategy for a collective withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC). But it seems that many countries have reservations and that very little will change for now.

Deutsche Welle, 1 February 2017

The news of the adopted AU strategy to withdraw from the Hague based court, came as more of a footnote of the AU summit. There were no big announcements but an AU official who asked not to be identified told the Reuters new agency that "the leaders of AU member states endorsed the strategy of collective withdrawal, with reservations."

At a closer look, the strategy is however more of a recommendation than an actual decision to withdraw from the ICC and a treaty which established the court known as the Rome Statute. The decision is not binding and as country representatives who are in support of the ICC noted, the decision to leave the ICC is up to each individual country.

According to DW's reporter in Addis Ababa, Coletta Wanjohi, several countries which include Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania had reservations about the paper.  Other countries asked for more time to consider the withdrawal strategy.

No concrete steps to withdraw

The call by countries like Kenya, Burundi and South Africa to withdraw from the ICC is, however, not new. The "withdrawal strategy" was initially tabled by Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta a year ago. Until 2014, Kenyatta and his vice president William Ruto were themselves accused of instigating war crimes during the 2007/2008 post-election violence in Kenya. The proposed strategy was then discussed by AU foreign ministers, who wanted to bring their grievances to the UN Security Council. Many African countries are of the opinion that the court is unfairly targeting them.

Cape Verde is one of the countries which 
wants to remain in the Rome Statute
"What happened in Addis Ababa is unprecedented" said Allan Ngari an expert on international crime with the Intstitute for Security Studies in Pretoria. "That a regional body would adopt a decision to withdraw from an international instrument." Ngari however noted that the AU itself is not party to the Rome Statute and it remains up to individual states to decide whether they want to remain within the statute or leave it.

Ngari moreover explained that even the countries which have said that they will leave the ICC and the Rome Statute have so far failed to take any concrete measures to do so. "Kenya introduced a bill in its national parliament to repeal that act that domesticated the Rome Statute," Ngari explained.  The bill, he explained, however, was not passed and expired in January 2017.

Similarly South Africa has proposed several amendments to the Rome Statute. The country was heavily criticized for its failure to cooperate with the court and detain Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir during his visit South Africa in 2015. "If you want to amend the Rome Statute, you must be a party to the Rome Statute," explained Ngari. There are processes to change the treaty from the inside and this is what South Africa and other AU members are doing.

Last year, The Gambia also threatened to leave the ICC. Under the new President Adama Barrow, the country might however review this decision.

Strengthening African justice systems

Whether African countries will follow the recommendations of the strategy paper or not, a handful are still adamant that they will withdraw if nothing changes. "We believe that it needs to improve its working methods. It has been in place for 12 years and it has had three or four convictions," argued Sam Kutesa, Uganda's foreign affairs minister. "It spends $ 180 million (167 million euros) per annum. This is totally incompetent," he added.

Sudan's Secretary of Economics and Development, Hussain Karshaoum, also argued that instead of sticking with the ICC, African countries should instead strengthen their own justice systems. "You have to strengthen the African Courtof Justice and to call for every African state to ratify it as a last resort. The second thing is to strengthen the judicial system at the domestic level," he said.

The outgoing vice chairperson of the AU Commission Erastus Mwencha said what African countries really want is a level playing field. "What happens at the ICC should apply throughout the world and African leaders have said we are ready to sit down and see how we can reform it."

The foreign affairs ministers had planned to discuss a possible reform of the ICC and amendments to the Rome Statute with the UN Security Council. The ministers however said that officials who were sent to the meeting were not senior enough to discuss the proposed changes.

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