Criticism that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is only interested in going after Africans was part of a “propaganda” campaign by those who wanted to discredit the court, its outgoing prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has told the BBC.
The Gambian lawyer is stepping down from the job on Wednesday after nine years at The Hague-based court.
She has been the second person to hold the position.
All 30 of the ICC’s cases so far have involved Africans but Ms Bensouda said that her office was now investigating situations in several other areas of the world.
These include Georgia, Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories, Colombia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Venezuela and the Philippines.
“The ICC’s work is not to target any particular continent. It will follow the evidence,” she told Focus on Africa, in an interview marking her departure.
Reflecting on her achievements she said that the cases she had prosecuted had set a precedent in international law when it came to dealing with sexual violence.
There were also some failures, including the acquittals of ex-Democratic Republic of Congo Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba and Laurent Gbagbo, the former president of Ivory Coast. There was also the collapse of the cases relating to the violence after Kenya’s 2007 election.
“This is a court of justice and in any court we have acquittals and convictions,” Ms Bensouda said.
“Of course, as a prosecuting office we get the best evidence and present it before the judges… this is however work where we have confronted many challenges. But no matter what, we have done what we were supposed to do as prosecutors in all cases, including those in which we were not able to get convictions.”
British lawyer Karim Khan will take over from Ms Bensouda on Wednesday.