Arusha’s hotels hope to benefit from ‘court tourism’


News broke overnight that the Arusha based African Court of Justice and Human Rights has issued an order for Gadaffi and his bunch of goons to appear before court and defend themselves against a series of charges brought against them over massive violation of human rights. An ‘Order for Provisional Measures’ has also been issued by the African court and reportedly served upon Gadaffi’s regime, to stop immediately any further violence being inflicted on the Libyan population.

The court, the equivalent to the European Court of Human Rights, is also set to issue an international arrest warrant against Gadaffi and his cronies, should they not appear and / or be represented to offer a defense. The court action was reportedly being initiated by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and while both institutions were set up by the African Union, it is intriguing to note that the AU sponsored visit by South Africa’s president Zuma, and his utterances made while in Libya recently ostensibly to ‘mediate’ but visibly intent to come to the aid of his ‘fellow brother and leader’ appears to be in stark contrast with the court’s decision to prosecute Gadaffi.

When or rather if the case goes ahead, should the International Criminal Court in The Hague not supersede any action in Arusha, the ‘safari capital of East Africa’ can expect a boost by Libyan travelers coming to attend court and likely booking up all the suites in town, going by the regime’s and Gadaffi’s known travel habits. His travels to African Union events were often marked by the arrival of hundreds of security personnel, dozens of hanger’s on flown to the venue with a fleet of Gadaffi’s aircraft, and some sources in Arusha are already hoping for a resulting business boom, when the case kicks off. However, there is no guarantee that either Gadaffi, or any of his cronies implicated in the violence in Libya, will voluntarily appear in court, and should the people of Libya get their hands on him, instant justice a la Ceausescu is the more likely outcome, though this would of course ‘rob’ Arusha of a travel boom of lawyers, the media and the accused’s entourage.

Watch this space.  

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