While the question, "Is the ICC targeting Africa inappropriately?" is a critical issue to investigate, to address it fully I propose we reframe the question. Instead of asking whether Africa's targeting is unfair or justified, I suggest we ask Why Africa? in the first place. To answer this question I want to bypass the assumption that the icc is "targeting Africa" and instead examine the structural inequalities that have made it so that Africa and not the United States, Joseph Kony and not George Bush, crimes against humanity and not pre-emptive intervention form the basis for the Court's action. To date, 122 countries have signed and ratified the icc's Rome Statute. The United States, China, Japan, India, Pakistan, Israel, and Turkey have not ratified it and thus are not under the jurisdiction of the Court. Of the 122 countries that have signed the Rome Statute, close to one third comprise African states, and because of the current violence in some of Africa's key high-resource areas, the icc is more likely to scrutinize Africa. By asking questions that push us to make sense of why African countries have submitted to the jurisdiction of the Court, we can make sense of why Africans and Africanbased cases are the only ones being tried. African submission to icc jurisdiction exists within political and "structural" inequalities in the global arena, meaning that the icc's involvement in Africa is not simply a question of the icc's targeting of Africa. Nor is it a matter of whether African states themselves participated in referring particular cases. Rather, it has to do with which crimes can be pursued, which agents can be held responsible, whether Africa's violence can be managed by African countries, and whether the crimes of the Rome Statute are sufficient to address the root causes of violence in Africa's political landscape.
Clarke, K. (2016). Why Africa?. doi:10.1163/9789004304451_039