By Richard Murphy
The International Criminal Court (ICC) finally lost it. The decision of its outgoing prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to investigate Nigeria’s Security Forces for human rights abuses and the equivalent of war crimes is one that the officials of that institution should have better weighed and advise against. Bensouda’s desperation to score achievements before leaving office is no justification for the shabby job that led to that decision. Since the organization is a continuum, her successor could have continued with the necessary factfinding, which means she need not have rushed to justify whatever deal she has ongoing with Amnesty International.
A fair disclaimer each time the name ICC is mentioned it is to clearly state that it has earned itself the unpleasant title of being the court for undermining African countries. It has become obsessed with facilitating the disruption of African countries, humiliating their leaders and incapacitating their key institutions. In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that African leaders are cited for trial by the international court for supposed crimes that would not get a mention if same were committed by their counterparts on other continents.
ICC’s decision on Nigeria is suspect in all ramifications because it ties too much into previously identified destabilization agenda being implemented against the country. That decision shows an organization that is not in charge of what it is putting out but one that is taking instructions from outside its own fold. This faux pax raises too many posers.
A first thought that a discerning institution that is truly interested in world peace would have taken time to consider the potential consequences of its pronouncement on the country against which they are directed. In the case of Nigeria, ICC’s decision is one that would further worsen the already testy security situation in the land. There have been sufficient expert views in the past that emasculating the military with the treat if being dragged before the ICC is something that would demoralise troops while incentivising the terrorists they are fighting against. The warning sign for this is how the Court find significant infractions against the terrorists, but it marketed its report in a manner that suggested that the troops committed the bulk of the infractions it is talking about. This shows a bias, a commitment to demonize the government troops while doing all that is possible to protect the terrorists that should rightly be in jail or even executed for their vicious crime.
In a situation where the government troops are no longer able to fight terrorists because they have been cowed with ICC the world can be rest assured that Boko Haram, ISWAP and other terrorist groups will simply decimate the population. The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) will exploit such situation to grow into a monster worse than Boko Haram. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) would find a conducive environment to achieve its nefarious mission of trying to balkanise Nigeria. In summary, having frightened troops would make Nigeria into one horror show and ICC would have at that prove that is it not one if the entities that signed up into making Nigeria into a failed entity.
Secondly, ICC is legitimizing Boko Haram by placing it on the same, if not higher, pedestal as the Armed Forces of Nigeria. Although it labelled Boko Haram and its splinter groups as “non-state actors” it nonetheless treated them as if they are superior to the government forces. This is disconcertingly consistent with the kind of branding that Amnesty International has been doing for terrorist groups operating in Nigeria by given them more rights than citizens and the security forces. It is thus evident that ICC is working to set Nigeria up in a manner that offers advantage to agents of destabilization that Boko Haram represents.
If ICC setting Nigeria up for failure is frightening then one better not contemplate the unfolding disaster of the International Criminal Court being in bed with a discredited international NGO, Amnesty International. The entirety of the ICC’S evidence derives from Amnesty International, its affiliates, its proxy NGOs and individuals fronting for it. This explains why it seems the ICC has a watertight case because the body of “evidence” at its disposal is solid. That solidity is nothing, but a density achieved through a collage of fake news, manufactured reality and a lot of acting.
It is interesting to note that part of those that collated the so-called petitions and evidence the ICC is basing its decision upon are NGOs, Amnesty International’s allies, that were into the business of passing military intelligence, shared in pursuit of keeping their staffers safe, to Boko Haram terrorists. These are NGOs that provide logistics to terrorists under the pretext of doing humanity work. If these organization’s inputs can form the basis of ICC’s decisions, then the entire world is in trouble. It is a matter of time before terrorists rule the world, and it is ICC that would make it possible – first in African countries and later in the countries that today see themselves as too advanced to be bothered by the charade that this organization is acting.
Several indigenous groups in Nigeria has raised alarms in the past to the effect that the activities of certain foreign NGOs were akin to working to the answer; these groups compile reports that will result in the ICC finding against Nigeria. These reports were never accurate to start with, but they are now the basis the ICC is proceeding with the charade it is planning. ICC is dancing a macabre dance to a tune being played by Amnesty International and it is like the court is trampling on the graves of the victims of terrorism, who would possibly be alive if the Nigerian military is not incapacitated by threats of being dragged to the Hague. The Court’s position is as perverted as they come.
There is only one sliver of sense in the position announced by the ICC, which is that it mentioned Boko Haram as an entity it is interested in investigating. This in itself leaves a sour taste in the mouth because one begins to wonder about the essence of investigating a known terrorist group that has killed tens of thousands of people while dislocating hundreds of thousands more when its indictment could have simply been announced. From the massacre of entire market towns to the decimation of worshippers in their scared places of worship, Boko Haram has on its own documented the trail of blood that has become its hallmark. The terrorists commit the crimes and make video to boast of them so it is not as if the Court, Amnesty International and whoever is bribing both of them cannot see the actual evidence before their eyes. But the military is being scapegoated to achieve the objective of undermining Nigeria.
What will redeem ICC therefore is for it to haul Boko Haram’s deranged leader, Abubakar Shekau, his amirs and the leaders of rival factions to the Hague. Perhaps ICC will succeed in getting international forces to paradrop into Sambisa Forest or anywhere else Shekau and his ilk are holed up in the Lake Chad Basin and smoke them out to stand trial. It should similarly drag out the leaders of the international ISIS brand since they send instructions and support to their Nigerian franchise. That is what it should focus on and not hounding those that have committed themselves to making this happen in the present.
It bears mentioning that any investigation the ICC plans to carry out must occur in a sequence that has Boko Haram commanders and fighters being the first to answer for their atrocities. The Court admitted that it “recognises that the vast majority of criminality within the situation is attributable to non-state actors.” By focusing first on Boko Haram, any investigation, if at all necessary, will prove without a string of doubt that the troops of the Nigerian Security Forces and their commanders have nothing worry about because the bulk of the crimes being attributed to them were the handiwork of Boko Haram terrorists that were then framed by their collaborating NGOs to appear as infractions committed by the Nigerian troops. In other instances, NGOs simply cooked up lies that have now stuck because the military did not waste efforts in dispelling the lies as they were too busy doing the actual work of fighting terrorism.
The biggest loser of this charade is the International Criminal Court. African countries had contemplated mass withdrawal from the instrument setting up the ICC and it is about time too given its clearly racist and anti-African agenda even under someone if African descent. Should ICC continue the way it is going the Rome Statute will soon be worth less than the number of letters in its name.
Murphy, a security expert wrote from Calabar.