A comparative assessment of the international criminal court as mode of conflict management in the east African region
Conflicts have been permanent feature in the East African region despite the spirited efforts by the respective Governments to deal with them. Such conflicts lead to massive destruction of property, deaths and breakdown of infrastructure. Conflicts in East Africa are often assumed to have a state a sponsored perspective and thus since the state is the creator of the National Legal Institutions, it apparently becomes difficulty to have state officers and Heads of governments/state to be tried by the same institutions that they created. The International Criminal Court aims at assisting the National Jurisdiction of respective nation-state that have failed to offer justice to the victims. Indeed the feelings of the affected communities are that the International Criminal court is a panacea to the failure of the National courts that have persistently denied the victims justice. The emergence of the International Criminal Court thus changed the perception of the victims who from far see the light at the end of the tunnel. The study carries out a comparative analysis of the International Criminal Court as a mode of conflict management in East Africa region. The study seeks to assess how the intervention of the International Criminal Court in the region has either reduced or increased conflict. To achieve this objective, the study examines and compares the reaction of the people of East Africa region on how the International Criminal Court has led to conflict management in East Africa. The Study will be undertaken using both the Qualitative and Quantitative research methods with the sample person chosen across East Africa. The study seeks to test the following hypothesis: The International criminal court does not have any effect on the conflict management in the East African region, the International criminal court is a mode of conflict management in the East Africa region and that the International criminal Court is not a mode of conflict management in the East Africa. vi Finally, having evaluated the objectives of the study of the ICC, its role in the conflict management the study zeroed in and sought to find out whether it has helped to reduce conflict within the East Africa Region. This is one of the reasons as to why leaders in the political realm both cling to power and continue unleasing terror to the citizens and bar the international community from intervening. Due to notion of safeguarding the National sovereignty and the clause of complementarily it gives the persons behind the attacks a chance to protection in disguise that the national interest comes first. Additionally, owing to the fact that the International Court does not have a police of its own it depends on those governments that it is investigating thus it becomes a big problem when the inductees are the state officers. This has been largely due to the weak political institutions, legislative and constitutional offices like electoral bodies and the Judiciary. There has been a concern by the relevant bodies and the International community to come up with measures so as to prevent or rather mitigate such occurrences of conflict where they lead to civil war like the Rwanda 1994 where there is systemic killing of civilians by either the Government officials or fellow neighbours. Failure by the respective National institutions to either investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the said violence led to the invitation of the International criminal Court to investigate and prosecute the persons behind the conflicts in Northern Uganda and the violence that broke out in Kenya following the disputed 2007/2008 post-election violence where the Government of Kenya failed to institute a special tribunal to prosecute the persons behind the violence. Consequently, a warrant of arrest has been issued against the top leadership of the LRA by the International Criminal Court and also three Kenyans are facing trial before the International Criminal Court. It is thus due to the involvement of the ICC in the region that this research will seek to find out whether it will serve as a mode of conflict management in the region.