Kenya leaves world guess­ing on whether it will leave ICC, wants re­spect for con­ti­nent

Africa’s con­cerns have been ig­nored, Kenyan en­voy says. Uhuru adds that de­vel­op­ing coun­tries’ choice to leave global agen­cies should be re­spected

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Presidency - OLIVER MATHENGE @Oliv­erMa­thenge

Kenya failed to clearly state whether it was stay­ing in or leav­ing the ICC, even as Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta said African coun­tries must be al­lowed to exit global or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Un­con­firmed re­ports in­di­cate that the Cabi­net is set to make a de­ci­sion on whether to with­draw im­me­di­ately or con­tinue fight­ing for ICC re­forms.

But de­spite giv­ing the As­sem­bly of States Par­ties the cold shoul­der, Kenyan Am­bas­sador to The Nether­lands Mak­ena Muchiri gave a state­ment at the ple­nary on Fri­day evening.

She said African coun­tries should not be crit­i­cised for choos­ing to pull out of the ICC. But she did not in­di­cate whether Kenya was leav­ing or stay­ing.

“We have been in the belly of the beast. We are con­vinced that the ICC is not im­par­tial in de­liv­er­ing jus­tice. We are los­ing our faith in ICC as a tool for in­ter­na­tional jus­tice,” the en­voy said.

“Africa’s con­cerns and rec­om­men­da­tions have been ig­nored. The ICC has ig­nored the re­quests to as­sess its im­pact on peace and se­cu­rity.”

The am­bas­sador said the ICC is con­temp­tu­ous to­wards Africa and does not lis­ten to it, adding that Kenya de­mands a roadmap of how the con­ti­nent’s con­cerns will be ad­dressed.

Speak­ing in Kam­pala on Satur­day, Uhuru said that while African coun­tries ac­cepted the sov­er­eign de­ci­sions of other coun­tries, their rights to ex­er­cise sovereignty and demo­crat­i­cally set aside in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ments that no longer work for them should be re­spected.

“I can­not think of any African I know who did not ac­cept that the United King­dom had the right to choose to leave the Euro­pean Union. But if Africans at­tempt to ex­er­cise their sov­er­eign will, we hear a bar­rage of voices which tell us we can’t,” the Pres­i­dent said.

He spoke dur­ing the 2nd An­nual Diplo­matic Fo­rum or­gan­ised by the Diplo­matic Corps in Uganda.

Uhuru said global peace and sta­bil­ity will be re­alised when coun­tries en­gage as part­ners.

“Even in the face of an in­ter­na­tional order stacked against us, built on our backs, Africans have made painful progress. For our part­ners from around the world, let it be clear that we are part­ners. Mu­tual re­spect is what we seek,” the Pres­i­dent said.

In the last two months, Botswana, South Africa and Gam­bia have all no­ti­fied the UN that they no longer want to be part of the ICC.

Glob­ally, they have been joined by Rus­sia, which made the an­nounce­ment last week, and the Philip­pines which said it will quit the “use­less court”.

THE ICC IS NOT IM­PAR­TIAL IN DE­LIV­ER­ING JUS­TICE. WE ARE LOS­ING OUR FAITH IN ICC AS A TOOL FOR JUS­TICE, AM­BAS­SADOR SAYS

/ PSCU

Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta de­liv­ers his key­note ad­dress dur­ing the Di­plo­macy Fo­rum in Kam­pala on Satur­day

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