The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) participated in a high-level conference to deliberate on the current and future relations between Africa and the International Criminal Court (ICC). The conference, which was held last week in Johannesburg, South Africa, was themed “Africa and the International Criminal Court: Lessons Learned and Synergies Ahead.”
Speakers at the conference included Immediate Past U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay; the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda; and judges from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Government representatives, diplomats, academics, and representatives of civil society organisations were also present.
Participants explored issues related to the ICC’s principle of complementarity, international cooperation between African states and the ICC, domestication of the Rome Statute in Africa, and holistic approaches to international criminal justice.
“The MFWA participated in this conference as part of its initiative to contribute to improving international justice mechanisms and to help address impunity for human rights violations,” said Anjali Manivannan, the MFWA’s Programme Officer for Free Expression Rights Monitoring and Campaigns.
Through its campaign against impunity, the MFWA has been working as part of a continental network of civil society organisations that aims to mobilise support for the ICC in Africa. The MFWA has also been leading similar advocacy efforts to strengthen West Africa’s regional court, the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice located in Abuja, Nigeria, and the African Court of Justice in Arusha, Tanzania.
“Moving forward, the MFWA will continue to lead and support access to justice endeavours in order to improve human rights in West Africa and the African continent at large,” Ms. Manivannan said.