Kenya giving 'serious thought' to quitting ICC

2016-12-13 07:04
President Uhuru Kenyatta. (File: AFP)

President Uhuru Kenyatta. (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Monday his country was seriously thinking of quitting the International Criminal Court, after several other African nations moved to pull out of the tribunal.

Kenyatta and his Vice President William Ruto were dragged before the court after deadly 2007-08 election violence left over 1,200 dead. However the charges were dropped in 2014 with ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda citing a "relentless" campaign of victim intimidation.

"Our experience at the ICC demonstrated a glaring lack of impartiality in this institution. Some have withdrawn. Others have considered that step. Twice, our parliament has passed motions to withdraw," Kenyatta said in a speech Monday.

"We have sought the changes that will align the ICC to respect for national sovereignty. Those changes have not been forthcoming. We will therefore need to give serious thought to our membership."

African nations have long felt they are unfairly targeted by The Hague-based court, and the current exodus began when Burundi in October voted to leave the ICC, after the court's prosecutor said she might open a case against the government.

Symbolic motion 

South Africa and The Gambia quickly followed suit, raising fears of mass defections from the continent.

The tribunal opened in 2002 in The Hague as a court of last resort to try the world's worst crimes where national courts are unable or unwilling to act.

Currently nine out of the 10 ICC investigations are in African countries. The other is in Georgia.

However experts point out that many of the current investigations - in the Central African Republic, Uganda, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo - were referred to the ICC by the governments of those states.

Cases in Libya and the Sudanese region of Darfur were referred by the UN Security Council. Only in Kenya and Ivory Coast did the ICC's prosecutor initiate investigations.

Kenya was actually the first country to hold a vote to leave the court in 2013 with a symbolic motion in parliament which was never formalised.

Kenya's 2007 elections were marred by allegations of vote rigging, but what began as political riots quickly turned into ethnic killings and reprisal attacks, plunging Kenya into its worst wave of violence since independence in 1963.

Kenyatta and Ruto were fierce rivals in the 2007 vote, but teamed up in peaceful 2013 polls.

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  uhuru kenyatta  |  william ruto  |  kenya  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Does your dog have separation anxiety?

We've got tips, advice and how to help your dog

 
 

Paws

Fascinating facts about dogs
Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.