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AU adopts President Uhuru's proposal for mass withdrawal from ICC

Updated Sun, January 31st 2016 at 17:32 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks during the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Photo: PSCU)

Addis Ababa: The African Union Sunday adopted a proposal by President Uhuru Kenyatta for the AU to develop a road map for the withdrawal of African nations from the Rome Statute.

The proposal was adopted together with a report by the AU Ministerial Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, that draws a red line for the ICC over how it has been handling the case against Deputy President William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang.

The document asks the ICC to terminate the case against the DP and Sang as the case lacks any believable evidence.

President Kenyatta said Africa should make a powerful statement that reflects its refusal to be carried along in a system that has no regard for the sovereignty of nations and tramples on the security as well as the dignity of Africans.

He said the only option left for Africa was to completely withdraw from the Rome Statute because the utility of the ICC at this time of global turmoil is extremely limited.

President Kenyatta said leaders of the continent will be failing in their duties if they continued shoring up a dysfunctional instrument whose mainstay was to humiliate Africans and distract their governments from their mandates.

“We refuse to be carried along in a vehicle that has strayed off-course to the detriment of our sovereignty, security and dignity as Africans,” said the President.

The document together with the proposal to give open-ended Ministerial Committee of Ministers of Foreign to embark on drawing the road map was adopted in the afternoon.

The ministers will first proceed to have meetings with the United Nations Security Council on the AU resolution asking for the termination of the Kenya case and several other recommendations.

The outcome of the meetings between the Ministers and the UN Security Council will determine the next course of action, which includes exercising the mandate for the mass withdrawal road map.

In his speech, President Kenyatta pointed out that Kenya’s position, which is shared by other countries, was born out of the total disrespect with which the ICC has treated the concerns of Kenya and other African nations.

“When Kenya and the large group of African countries joined the International Criminal Court, it was to seek legal means to complement the other important tools that we have stood up.  We sought to combat impunity while being sensitive to the reality of our young and fragile democracies. We have been sorely disappointed,” said the President.

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