Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe asked why the International Criminal Court (ICC) is not indicting Tony Blair and George W. Bush for war crimes instead of prosecuting Sudan’s leader.
Mugabe, speaking at a joint summit of the European Union and African states, said the ICC was applying a double standard by indicting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and genocide.
Sudan’s government has said it was boycotting the EU-Africa summit in protest at EU pressure for Bashir to stay away, Reuters reports.
“Why does this court not do the same with Tony Blair and George W. Bush, both of whom occupied Iraq and killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people?” Mugabe said in a speech to the summit in Libya’s capital.
As US president, George W. Bush called Mugabe’s rule “tyrannical,” while Blair, the former British prime minister, accused Mugabe of human rights abuses and running down what was once one of Africa’s most prosperous economies.
Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980, denies those accusations and says the West, and especially Zimbabwe’s former colonial ruler Britain, is trying to sabotage his country.
“Bashir is not with us now. Why? Because some European countries said if he comes, they will not attend the summit,” Mugabe said in his speech.
“They are wrong because they shouldn’t take this decision before we know if he is guilty or innocent … Only a court in his own country can decide if he is guilty or not.”