During a visit to the Kenyan capital Nairobi, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it was “extremely regrettable” that the US was not a signatory to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, in the Netherlands.
Mrs Clinton’s remark suggests a break with the policy of the previous US government led by George W Bush. The Bush administration emphatically refused to recognise the right of the court to judge war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The ICC is the world's first permanent war crimes court. It was set up in 2002 to try individuals for genocide, war crimes and other major human rights violations.
Mrs Clinton is currently on a tour of Africa. While in Nairobi, one of the people she spoke with was the Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, whose government is under threat from attacks by Islamist rebels. Mrs Clinton offered her “very strong support” for the Somali government and called on Somalia’s neighbour, Eritrea, to stop helping the rebels.
Photo of Hillary Clinton from U.S. Department of State (flickr)