Legendary anti-apartheid activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has called for former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US president George Bush to be hauled before the International Criminal Court in The Hague in a September 2 Observer op-ed.
The article came after Tutu refused to share a platform with Blair at an event in Johannesburg last month, citing Blair's role in the Iraq War.
Tutu slammed the Iraq War Bush and Blair launched in 2003, on the basis of false claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Some estimates put the number of Iraqi deaths as a result of the war at more than 1 million.
Tutu said the invasion left the world more destabilised and divided “than any other conflict in history”.
He said: “The then leaders of the United States and Great Britain fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart.”
Tutu said different standards appear to be set for prosecuting African leaders and Western ones. He said the death toll during and after the Iraq conflict is sufficient on its own for Blair and Bush to be tried at the ICC.
“On what grounds do we decide that Robert Mugabe should go the International Criminal Court, Tony Blair should join the international speakers' circuit, bin Laden should be assassinated, but Iraq should be invaded, not because it possesses weapons of mass destruction, as Mr Bush's chief supporter, Mr Blair, confessed last week, but in order to get rid of Saddam Hussein?”
“In a consistent world,” he wrote, “those responsible for this suffering and loss of life should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who have been made to answer for their actions in The Hague.”