If democracy in Africa, South Africa, as an example, is to succeed, then leaders should be denied political asylum after ruining their countries as a matter of international criminal justice. African leaders should rule their countries with the full knowledge that they will face the justice system of their own countries once they are done with their reign of blunder or terror. In this regard China and other Asian countries should be held accountable for giving asylum to African dictators or what I term the "Fugitive King."



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The arrest of Fugitive Kings should be done under the principle of universal jurisdiction, which states that any country, and without a warrant, can arrest a person known to have committed high crimes as long as they have jurisdiction over the person's body. Perhaps, in hindsight the withdrawal of African countries en masse form the International Criminal Court (ICC) was not such a good idea as this has opened the back door for the implementation of the doctrine of universal jurisdiction. This is a classic case of what is known in Xhosa as Isikuni sinyuka nomkwezeli, a brand burns he who stirs it: by running away from the protection of the ICC African dictators have put a bounty on their heads after they live office. To avoid someone collecting on this "bounty," they have to die in office. It would have been better to merely put up a defense at the ICC.


African leaders were misled to think indictments for war crimes or human rights abuses were inherently racist without examining the facts on the ground or their own governance. Africa and the West are incomparable: politics in the West and Europe has checks and balances that ditter crimes against citizens or subjects, whilst in Africa the political systems are fragile and seldom survive one incumbent leader ( e.g. Mandela). Non-African leaders are not brought before the ICC because the citizens of those countries do not make such petitions, it has nothing to do with race. The ICC is a citizen / subject driven criminal complaint system. Only victims (through their survivors) have a standing at the ICC, no political party can bring a case against a leader, it's the families of the victims.

In addition, the Fugitive King has no where to run in the West and Europe thus creating a system of restraint for any sitting Western / European head of state. This was the dilemma faced by Adolf Hitler at the end of the Second World War. Another example is the arrest of Chilean General Agusto Pinochet in 1988, when he was in the United Kingdom, this continues to be good law in the international system making it legal to arrest a Fugitive King who is accused of high crimes, without a warrant, in Pinochet's case it was human rights violations.

Where a segment of a country's population have been killed, unless amnesty was given as a condition of transfer of power, there is a presumption that you are dealing with a Fugitive King. As a strong believer of Amnesty, I also believe the person receiving it should be appreciative and not use it as a moment to regroup forces to amount a comeback.

It is amazing when one looks at the way African leaders, or those who are dictators treat their countries - like a blank bank account to write as many checks as possible; even if the funds are not in the bank. I still support the principle that an elected president should not be protested out off office, but I draw the line when it is clear that one's rule of a country is tied in with an elaborate plan to remove his family to Singapore or Dubai on high noon. If you have done nothing wrong, and you say you are a hero then why are you running away?

African leaders should learn that there is life after elected office in their own countries as respected citizens. They is retirement from politics in a dignified and sober manner, in the manner of Nelson Mandela. One does not need to be kicked out of office and to flea like a fly from one place to another. Even if you flee, what about your family back home?

On hindsight, when I look at the dictator's memo if such a thing ever existed. I see that most dictators end up running or fleeing their countries at the eleventh hour. Bokassa fled to France; Mobutu fled to Morocco; Amin fled to Saudi Arabia; Mengistu Haile Mariam to Harare - South Africa is home to several shady characters fleeing their own misdeeds as Head of States. African leaders use bilateral relations to pick and chose the destination of the country they will eventually run to; an abuse of office and trust bestowed on them during their term of office.

It is high time that countries implement their universal jurisdiction obligations to arrest and return fleeing Fugitive Kings, in this case heads of state accused of crimes against humanity. A case is being made that the absence of an indictment should not preclude return of the fugitive, the same way that a person does not need to see a warrant to call the police when a murderder fleeing from their actions asks to stay at the home . This same muderer should be reported to the police immediately and a citizen's arrest should occur.


I am of the opinion that some African leaders have in mind to ruin their countries and then flea to either Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong or where ever they will be allowed to stay. Ignoring the governance of these Fugitive kIngs This is essentially to turn a blind eye to human suffering, an affront to the United Nations Charter and an affront to human brotherhood at the most fundamental or basic level. We exist as Nations to reinforce a general moral code whether it is domestic or international. The international system should not negate general principles of domestic law and criminality.


For all the human rights accusations against Israel, many would be hard pressed to find another non-African country whose foreign policy towards Africa promotes homegrown democracy and accountability in Africa. Most of Israel's aid to Africa is tied in to sustainable quality of life for citizen Africans, and has its roots in Torah, not merely in government policy. Thus as an example Israel is in a position to show what happens when justice is interpreted from a higher truth doctrine; the case of former Prime Minister Ehud Barak comes to mind. Aid and bilateral assistance that does not take into account questions on the rule of law legitimizes African human rights problems as inherently African.

Ken Sibanda is a South African born, (Transkei) American Constitutional attorney. Porpulary known as Tecumseh, Sibanda has written for numerous world publications and given advise to numerous United Nations agencies. His book, International Law: Peace Accords, Tovakare Press, (2016) deals with transitional justice.






 
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