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Botswana remains committed to ICC


Botswana is not ready to pull out from the International criminal court (ICC) despite calls for Africa to do so by the newly elected Chairperson of the African Union, Robert Mugabe.


The government Spokesperson, Jeff Ramsay says Botswana remains committed to the ICC. Ramsay would not be drawn into reasons why Botswana chose to stick to the current position. Ramsay reaffirmed Botswana’s position in a brief response to this publication’s questionnaire following the alleged announcement by the President of the neighbouring Zimbabwe, Mugabe that his country has joined some of the African states intention to pull out of the ICC which is housed at the Hague, Netherlands.


Media reports suggest that the 90-year old Mugabe in his capacity as the Chairperson of the AU wants the matter to be in the agenda of the next AU summit due to be held in South Africa in June this year and is likely to chair the debate in person.

The calls for Africa to pull out from the ICC gained momentum in June 2009 when several African States including Comoros, Djibouti and Senegal suggested it in protest against the believe that the court targets Africa. Then the Sudan President, Omar al Bashir was being investigated by the ICC for crimes against humanity.

In 2013 Kenya, Uganda and later South Africa joined the fray in protest against ICC’s investigation in Kenya. A mass withdrawal from the ICC by African states was discussed in October 2013 and it was agreed that the sitting Presidents would not be prosecuted and that Kenya case should be deferred as Uhuru Kenyatta was still in office.

Since the summit was heavily divided on the issue of pulling out from the ICC the mass withdrawal proposal was not endorsed and Mugabe hopes to settle the matter as swiftly as he could during his reign as the chairperson of the AU and has even signed the Malabo Protocol which would form the African court of Justice and Human rights. If successful, the court would be funded by the AU.


However as some African countries pledge commitment to the Malabo protocol, other African countries including Botswana are being more cautious over the initiative and have not signed the treaty. This is because the AU is still obviously divided over the IC with East Africa leaders facing strong resistance from West and Sub Saharan Africa counterparts in this campaign.


The ICC
The Rome Statute which forms the ICC allows for states to withdraw from the court. Withdrawal takes effect one year after notification of the depositary, and has no effect on prosecution that has already started. Information retrieved from the ICC website suggests that as of now no state had withdrawn from the statute as yet.


The Rome Statute is a treaty that establishes the ICC an international court that has jurisdiction over certain international crimes including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes that are commonly committed by nationals of state members or within the territory of such countries. The country members are legally obligated to co-operate with the court when it requires such as in arresting and transferring indicted persons or providing access t o evidence and witnesses.

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Hunt for new Ombudsman ongoing

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The Ombudsman position fell vacant almost five months ago after Augustine Makgonatsotlhe was removed from the office and appointed as Ambassador to Kuwait.

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Two Batswana detained in Zim for illegal trade in mercury

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This publication understands that the suspects who are aged between 39 and 56 years hail from Tutume and Selebi-Phikwe. At the time of the arrest, they were found in possession of a pistol, bomb motor and four live rounds. It is understood that the suspects told investigators during interrogation that the deadly substance has a lucrative market in Far East countries, where the demand is high. It is further reported that the suspects claimed that the mercury can be easily accessed in mines through middleman.

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No end in sight for Botswana/ Namibia looming border row

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The Namibian Lives Matter Movement has weighed in on the looming border dispute between their country and Botswana.

Commenting on reports that the Namibian Parliament has dispatched a committee along the border between the two countries on fact finding mission, the group commended“the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, De-fence and Security that will engage community members living along the Namibia Botswana Border in conducting public hearings into acts of aggression and brutality by Botswana Defence (BDF) Force against innocent and unarmed Namibians.” 

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