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