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An examination of the relationship between the African Union (AU) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) : the cases of Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda and Liberia.

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This dissertation examines the relationship between the African Union (AU) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). The case studies of Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda and Liberia were used. These countries have had dealings with the ICC at different moments. The study wanted to establish if the concerns raised by African leaders and their countries about the manner in which the ICC conducts its business in Africa is appropriate, justifiable and credible. Realism was used as a theoretical framework which guided the study. The study was conducted in the wake of calls for African countries who are signatories of the ICC to pull out of The Hague-Based Court and establish their own court, because there is a perception that the ICC is targeting Africa while leaving out leaders in other continents who continue infringing on the rights of other people. The research methodology which was followed in carrying out research for this dissertation falls within the qualitative paradigm. Both empirical and non-empirical data were collected for the study. The research instrument was a questionnaire which was distributed among purposively selected informants. Non-empirical data was collected through document analysis and the usage of other secondary sources such as books, journals, etc. The findings revealed that there are certain inconsistencies in the manner in which African countries deal with the international community. They rely on the international community for help, while on the other hand perceiving the international community as the enemy. With regards to the ICC, some African leaders posit the view that they are being singled out and targeted for prosecution. Ironically, some of the staff members of the ICC are African citizens. The second irony is that Africa has the largest number of countries that are signatories to the Rome Statute. Thirdly, there are many cases in Africa where human rights violations have occurred. Given these findings, it is recommended that before taking any drastic action against the ICC, the African political leadership should get the facts right and do self-introspection with the view to establish if their case has strong basis.


Master of Social Sciences in International Relations. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College 2015.


African Union., International Criminal Court., African cooperation., Theses -- International relations.