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Why withdrawal from The Hague court was inevitable

By Billow Kerrow Updated Sunday, September 8th 2013 at 00:00 GMT +3
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By Billow Kerrow

I fully support the withdrawal from the ICC, without remorse. I think we should have done so ages ago, and should not have signed on to it in the first place. Our government officials often times sign the dotted lines in Western capitals without reference to the nation’s political leaders, and mostly with indiffference to its ramifications. I also think we should not be apologetic to anyone for firmly shutting the door in ICC’s face. Never mind that ICC can still act in future, with or without our membership.

But I support this decision for an entirely different reason. I do know that the urgency with which Parliament is handling the matter is quite revealing; we are hitting back at ICC, and by extension the UN, politically. It is expected that Africa should then follow suit, emasculating the court and leveraging it to think twice on how it intends to handle our cases. Remember the phrase ‘choices have consequences’? Well, ICC should know that its decision to humiliate our leaders has a price! If possible, fold it up. It’s a gamble that we must win, or perish. Africa too must heed the drums of war and sign on immediately.

If that is the thinking behind this process, I find it pretty myopic. ICC has its owners, and that piece of ‘top-end real estate and all its occupants’ do not belong to CORD leaders but our partners, the West.

We are marked as an ‘errant ‘nation whose leaders have slighted the West in recent years. No amount of political posturing by the MPs will cower them.

They will take their ‘pound of flesh’ unrelentingly, until we submit. China and Russia cannot save us from the jaws of the US and its allies, however much we cry out.

we have taken the gamble and have no choice but wait for the payoff. The president and his deputy have no choice too but to battle it out in the courts with Bensouda. No doubt it will affect the country’s operations, and status. But we made the decision and must defy the odds to live with it. It’s a national problem, not a Jubilee matter.

Which is why I think the president ought to engage with the CORD leaders now for a bipartisan support on these actions. It is far much better to sit out the court process with the nation at piece than to be away when political temperatures are high. It is not the time to settle political scores too, either way. The stakes are too high to start exhuming history, Waki etc.

Back to my reasons for withdrawal from ICC. Its the duplicity of the West in dealing with international crimes. Syria’s Assad has massacred thousands in broad daylight. Millions are displaced and their livelihoods destroyed. He has even gassed thousands to death. Yet, it is not an international crime. The West still pursues dialogue with Assad! And so has Egypt’s Gen Sisi who has killed thousands just to get rid of Morsi.

Blair and Bush killed thousands in Iraq under the false claims that it had weapons of mass destruction but were never held to accounts despite demands for justice, even by their own citizens.

Even as we blame the West for the ICC woes, our government does plenty of ‘dirty work’ for them in the war against terror. Many Kenyans renditioned to Uganda by our compliant security forces languish in torture prisons long after our courts ordered that they should be brought home and tried here. Many have simply been executed in Kenya ‘gangland’ style for being suspects. We have domesticated several international crimes laws due to political pressure from the West, some of which are an affront to our sovereignity too.

Should we not throw these out too to send a message to the owners of ICC that we shall play hardball? We can’t fight ‘Western neocolonialiasm’ with our left arm when the right is frimly embraced in theirs. Feeble us we are, the withdrawal gesture is my veto to the blatant impunity of the West.

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