Yaoundé (National Times) – The United States has revoked the US Visa of the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), siting the US wish to protect its sovereignty and the rights of its citizens.
US agency confirmed the news on Friday that Fatou Bensouda’s is no longer allowed to enter the US, except to work within diplomatic institutions like UN. “It is our understanding that should not have an impact on the Prosecutor’s travel to the US to meet her obligations to the UN, including regular briefings before the UN Security Council,” her office said in a statement.
“The Office of the Prosecutor has an independent and impartial mandate under the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Prosecutor and her Office will continue to undertake that statutory duty with utmost commitment and professionalism, without fear or favor,” it said.
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Friday that her U.S. visa has been revoked, in what appears to be evidence of a crackdown on the global tribunal by the Trump administration. https://t.co/SyNTrMYS7F
— Robbie Gramer (@RobbieGramer) April 5, 2019
A State Department spokesperson reiterated that the US would “take the necessary steps to protect its sovereignty and to protect our people from unjust investigation and prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC).”
The move is meant to block ICC prosecutors from prosecuting US soldiers accused of war crimes in the Middle East. In November 2017, Bensouda sought authorization to open an investigation into crimes connected to the conflict in Afghanistan. According to a statement from the time, Bensouda’s office “determined that there is a reasonable basis to believe” that members of the US armed forces and the CIA committed “war crimes.” The ICC has not yet made a decision on whether to authorize that investigation.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed the potential investigation an example of “politically motivated prosecutions of Americans” according to CNN.
The ICC has been accused of been a Neo-imperial institution used by western countries to prosecute African leaders who disagree with western influence. The US move is sheen to the claim that power in global politics is might. Once more the US has used its might to undermine the same institutions described to represent western crusade for justice, at least, justice against Africans.