Africa: leaders seek immunity

by dayna.macdonald on December 2, 2013 - 3:22pm

African leaders have requested that they should have immunity to international laws. In this article, leaders have claimed that leaving their countries for court trials will leave their countries weak and could lead to a collapse of the country in their absence. However, the situations leading to these trials include genocides, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Requesting immunity means that they will not be reprimanded for their part to play in the violence against their own citizens. This is a social issue because it affects everyone in these countries. If the leaders cannot be accountable for their actions, then they are free to act in any fashion they want. Some of the reasons they claim they should have immunity for international law is because they believe that the court system is racist, however there are Africans on the board of law to prevent this. So what is it that they are really trying to do?

My viewpoint is that these political leaders are trying to escape punishment and are using historical elements to justify their desire for immunity. Their resentment towards the Western world makes them feel that they deserve to do as they please without consequence; a “get-out-of-jail-free” card.  On a deeper level, it is a disturbing concept that they want to maintain acceptance of violence within the government. It reminds me of psychology, where the predator justifies his actions and denies being at fault. At what point will the government acknowledge that this is problematic? One thing is for certain: if the government does not change its mentality, these ideologies will be passed down until change does occur.


This article talks about how the African leaders wish to have their country be immune to international law. Meaning they don’t want the trouble of going overseas will leave their countries unattended and weak without a governing force which will cause many other problems in turn. I agree with the author of this blog saying that their reasoning really is quite inaccurate and the problems they believe will happen are either easily avoidable or are wrong and will cause more issues in the long run. With different countries not all participating in an underlying “rule” that is the same across the globe, crime and and violence is bound to be out of control. BY not being a part of the international law I do feel that more violence would arise because in Africa they would have no boundaries by other countries or law enforcements so the gap for disagreement and argument will grow immensely. If leaders are not accountable for their actions or punished/reinforced by others who follow the same law, then their countries and those under their leadership will follow their ways of violence and non-cooperation in a wider scale of circumstances. Excuses will be a huge issue.

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