Recently in Obama: Africa Category

Barack Obama’s U.S.-Africa Summit

U.S. President Barack Obama has invited “All but a few of the heads of state of the 54 nations of Africa” to join him on August 6, 2014, in Washington, D.C., the U.S. capital, for a U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.

According to Stephen Hayes at U.S. News and World Report, “The purpose of the program is ostensibly to bring Africa and the United States closer together economically and politically. While it is a program also designed to strengthen the legacy of the Obama presidency, it is not without significant risks and challenges, for this summit will be like none the African leaders have ever experienced,” he writes in “Obama's High-Risk Africa Summit.

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U.S’ Emerging Diplomacy in Somalia

The Associated Press reported July 9, 2013, that, “Twenty years after the U.S. military's "Black Hawk Down" disaster, the Obama administration is slowly stepping up relations with Somalia even though security requires American officials to be sheltered behind blast walls and unable to see nearly any of the chaotic country.” See “US slowly steps up diplomacy in Somalia.” 

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Why U.S. Supported ICC on Arrest Warrant For Sudan's Omar al-Bashir

What is the Obama Administration's official position on the International Criminal Court's March 4, 2009, issuance of an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir? According to Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations:

The United States supports the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) actions to hold accountable those imageresponsible for the heinous crimes in Darfur. We remain determined in our pursuit of both peace and justice in Sudan. The people of Sudan have suffered too much for too long, and an end to their anguish will not come easily. Those who committed atrocities in Sudan, including genocide, should be brought to justice.  U.N. Security Council Resolution 1593, which referred the crimes in Darfur to the ICC, requires the Government of Sudan and all other parties to the conflict to cooperate fully with the ICC and its prosecutor and urges all states and concerned regional organizations to cooperate fully.
The United States expects restraint from all involved – the Government of Sudan, armed rebel groups, and others. No one should use the ICC’s decision as a pretext to incite or launch violence against civilians or international personnel. The safety and security of all civilians, international personnel, and UN and African Union peacekeepers in Sudan must be respected. We will continue to work with all parties for the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to bring an end to the conflict between North and South Sudan. The U.S. urges all parties to engage seriously with the Joint Chief Mediator of the UN and the African Union, Djibril Bassole, as he works to halt the hostilities in Darfur and to forge a political settlement that will bring lasting peace, justice, and security to the people of Darfur.

The U.S. has not ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. It has also withdrawn its original signature. However, when he was a U.S. Senator, Barack Obama, the U.S. President, said the U.S. should be a signatory to the treaty and abide by it.

Meanwhile, according to Gerald Warner of the London Daily Telegraph, "America helped defeat a proposal that the warrant for Bashir should be suspended for 12 months - which would have been a welcome respite for the soup kitchens of Darfur. This is a policy change of considerable significance." See "Barack Obama may subject US troops to International Criminal Court."

For more information on the ICC, see the "Basic Legal Texts" that governs rules of evidence and other legal procedures. It's quite comprehensive.

Note: This article was first posted at The U.S. Foreign Policy Monitor & Review, a blog dealing specifically with U.S. foreign policy.

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Obama’s Africa Policy

Recommended: Stephanie Hanson’s December 22, 2008, “Daily Analysis” post at the Council on Foreign Relations website headlined “Imagining Obama’s Africa Policy.” I found it thought-provoking and sobering.

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