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Rwandan foreign minister: "Where is a white man convicted by the ICC?"

On DW's "Conflict Zone", Louise Mushikiwabo adopted an outspoken stance on the International Criminal Court's handling of African cases, accusing the court both of racism and of manipulation of international justice.

On DW's "Conflict Zone", Louise Mushikiwabo adopted an outspoken stance on the International Criminal Court's handling of African cases, accusing the court both of racism and of manipulation of international justice. The full interview airs Wednesday, October 28, at 17.30 UTC.

In the DW interview, the foreign minister stated that "the ICC is used mostly by Europe to manipulate African politics." She added: "Africa has to complain about one thing and that is that the manipulation of international justice by political powerful countries and institutions is just a reality."

Mushikiwabo also reproached the ICC of racism: "Who would not support international justice? But the practice is that the lighter skin you are, the less guilty you are." On the same subject she said: "You are not going to convince me that African countries are sitting here with total independence to do what they want. We don’t live in the same world."

Confronted by host Tim Sebastian with reports about targeted killings, disappearances, and the harassment of civil society groups, Mushikiwabo answered that Rwanda was "measured according to somebody else's standards. (…) We have our own system." She admitted that her country did not adhere to international human rights standards: "If you measure us against another system or your own views of rights and democracy and so forth, of course we are going to diverge."

The foreign minister expressed her hope that Rwandan President Kagame will run for another term in 2017. She referred to US President Obama's claim in a speech to the African Union that "Africa's democratic progress is also at risk from leaders who refuse to step aside when their terms end." Mushikiwabo said: "President Obama or anybody else are free to say what they want. The decision is by the Rwandan people. They are the ones who know who should govern them and speak."

Louise Mushikiwabo, born in 1957, used to work as an author and public relations executive. She lived in the United States of America for 22 years, then briefly in Tunisia, before joining the Rwandan cabinet in March 2008. She served as Minister of Information before becoming Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in December 2009. Mushikiwabo holds Languages and Interpretation degrees from the University of Delaware, USA.

Tim Sebastian invites national and international decision-makers to his weekly DW show. "Conflict Zone" airs every Wednesday at 17.30 UTC and will be available online on demand.

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Christoph Jumpelt

Christoph Jumpelt

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