A UN tribunal in The Hague has opened the legal proceedings against a businessman of Rwandan-origin who was arrested two years ago after evading authorities for years. The accused decided to boycott his trial, however, the judges said the trial must go on. The accused is Felicien Kabuga and is one of the last suspects facing charges by a tribunal which is pursuing those associated with the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 during which the majority Hutu community members killed about 800,000 people from the minority Tutsi community, several moderate Hutus were also included in the death toll. Judge Iain Bonomy observed, “It is the understanding of the chamber that mister Kabuga is this morning well but has decided not to attend the hearing this morning either in person or via video link”.
Felicien Kabuga, who is in his 80s, was arrested in Paris in 2020 during the coronavirus lockdown and was then extradited to The Hague. Kabuga has been charged with three counts of genocide and two counts of crimes against humanity, for promoting hate speech by his radio station called Radio Television Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM).
There exist blatant double standards when it comes to delivering justice at the international level. Obviously, the west wields great influence on multilateral organizations and uses it to harass so-called “third world countries” of Africa and Asia. The most fundamental principle of justice, which says everyone is equal before the law, is nowhere to be found in international politics.
What if I tell you that there are politicians from powerful countries whose actions resulted in the loss of life, instability, destruction and decades of misfortune; yet they were never held accountable and put to justice? What if I show you evidence which corroborates the fact that these leaders lied to their people to garner support for their cause? What if I tell you that the self-proclaimed torch bearer of justice, the International Court of Justice has never tried any of these leaders, who are from the West, for war or genocide?
Bush, Clinton and Blair are guilty
George Bush, who misled the American public, the media and most importantly, the world with lies never had to face prosecution for his actions. Bush falsely claimed that there were Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) in Iraq and that Saddam Hussein had something to do with Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaida. Not only did his falsehoods lead to massive loss of lives and carnage but also push Iraq into a never-ending political doom. Many victims of the Iraq war, which include Iraqi civilians, families of the deceased and American military veterans are still waiting for justice.
Similarly, Tony Blair, a good friend of George Bush, was equally responsible for the war but he too was never held accountable despite obvious findings which established his complicity.
The same is the case with Hillary Clinton. She was the Secretary of State during the Obama administration, and never had to face charges for her recklessness during the Benghazi attack in September 2012 when four Americans, including the US ambassador, were killed in Libya. In 2002, when she was a senator, Clinton voted yes to George Bush’s Iraq War proposal during a Senate hearing. A US Justice Department official also uncovered that Hillary Clinton used her private email server for exchanging classified information during her tenure as Secretary of State. The director of the FBI in 2016 described Clinton’s conduct as “careless”.
So, was she ever held accountable for her actions? No.
The most difficult task of building a criminal case against someone is obtaining a statement which admits guilt. The task of gathering evidence is equally tiresome. Here, not only we do have proof against Bush, Blair and Clinton, but we also have statements in which they acknowledge their wrongdoings. Yet the ICJ never filed a single case against them. The same ICJ, which spent years running after Kabuga, stayed silent during the disastrous withdrawal of US military from Afghanistan by Joe Biden. Biden’s actions resulted in advanced weapons of the US military falling into the hands of Taliban terrorists which they now proudly use in killing and intimidating innocent civilians.
If Kabuga is guilty of being part of the genocide against Tutis, then he needs to face the law; but so do Bush, Clinton and Blair. The victims of the Rwandan genocide deserve justice and so do the civilians from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. If the ICJ is really looking forward to making a difference, then it should also go after leaders like Obama, Biden, Clinton and Bush who are responsible for thousands of air strikes that butchered civilians in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia.
If ICJ decides to build a case against Western leaders for their atrocities on Africa and Asia, then it will take it decades to conclude the process because the evidence is overwhelming, the testimonies and eyewitness accounts are countless and charges will be massive.