US threat against ICC ‘smacks of double standards’

Wednesday September 12 2018


By Deogratius Kamagi @Deogratiuskamagi

Dar es Salaam. The US has been accused of double standards after threatening to arrest and sanction judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The threat has come in response to the ICC’s move to prosecute American soldiers who have been serving in Afghanistan. In a quick rejoinder, the US National Security adviser John Bolton on Monday said they would never remain silent if the court decides to continue with its plan, terming it as “unjustifiable investigation”.

Speaking to The Citizen, analysts and academicians said the US reaction to the ICC’s move can be interpreted as double standards. Mr Innocent Shoo from the Centre for Foreign Relations (CFR) was of the view that the US’ threat against the ICC was meant to show the world that it is a super power whose decisions should not be questioned.

“It is double standards because the Americans are trying to protect their interests in an unfair manner,” Mr Shoo noted.

A political scientist from the University of Dar es Salam (UDSM), Dr Richard Mbunda, said the ICC’s move was part of efforts to influence compliance to the international law. US threats against the court would amount to nothing, he noted. “Americans are just trying to show the world that they are untouchable,” But the threats will serve to undermine compliance of intentional law as pioneered by the international organisations, he warned.

Prof Abdallah Safari, a lawyer, said the threats show the real reason why the US did not sign the Rome Statute. “The US is always very protective of its citizens and interests,” he said, but was confident that whatever ruling will be issued will be binding.


Prof Safari was against the notion that the ICC targets Africans only, stressing that it operates in accordance with terms of its establishment. Dr Benson Bana from UDSM said the ICC had no powers to decide against what the US wants.

On Monday, Mr Bolton said the US was prepared to impose sanctions on the ICC.