‘I was tempted to refer US to ICC af­ter Trump win’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

NAIROBI — Kenyan Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta has said that he was “tempted” to refer the United States to the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court (ICC) for post­elec­tions vi­o­lence fol­low­ing the re­cent elec­tion of Don­ald Trump.

Thou­sands of pro­test­ers around the US took to the streets soon af­ter the polls early this month, to con­demn the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump as pres­i­dent. The protests were mostly peace­ful, ac­cord­ing said. Ac­cord­ing to BBC Mon­i­tor­ing’s Africa Se­cu­rity cor­re­spon­dent Tomi Oladipo, Keny­atta’s ut­ter­ances showed how much the ICC’s rep­u­ta­tion had fallen.

In a video posted on Twit­ter, the gig­gling Kenyan leader said that he was “tempted” to take the US to the ICC for “post-elec­tion vi­o­lence”, send­ing his au­di­ence into laugh­ter.

So­cial me­dia users re­acted to his re­marks, with some say­ing that the court was now “a joke”.

Oth­ers, how­ever, did not find Keny­atta’s ut­ter­ance funny, with some even blast­ing what they termed his “in­sen­si­tiv­ity” to­wards peo­ple who have lost loved ones due to po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence.

At least three African coun­tries, South Africa, Bu­rundi and the Gam­bia were set to quit the Hague­based court.

The ICC has since pleaded with the de­fec­tors and other African coun­tries con­sid­er­ing leav­en­ing the court “not to leave”.

In a case that was re­port­edly rid­dled with po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence, Keny­atta to­gether with his deputy Wil­liam Ruto were ac­quit­ted on charges over post­elec­tion vi­o­lence that took place in 2007 in which more than 1 000 peo­ple were killed.

Keny­atta’s al­leged crimes against hu­man­ity were dropped late in 2014 on the grounds that there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to take him to trial.

His deputy was dis­charged early this af­ter the ICC also cited lack of ev­i­dence.

Ruto had been charged along­side broad­caster Joshua Sang with mur­der, de­por­ta­tion and per­se­cu­tion for their al­leged lead­ing roles in the vi­o­lence. — AFP

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