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‘Victimising’ former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan over ICC stand is hypocritical

LETTERS
By - | October 15th 2013

I was shocked and tongue-tied to see our MPs castigate former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for his apparent support of the International Criminal Court’s cases against three Kenyans.

The legislators, led by Leader of the Majority Aden Duale, accused Dr Annan of coming to Kenya in 2008 following the post-election violence to further the goals of the ICC.

They further claimed Annan left his country, Ghana, 35 years ago and therefore should not comment on African matters. They also claimed he is an African only because of his skin colour; otherwise he is a European and should desist from interfering with Africans.

During the recent burial of the former Anglican Archbishop, David Gitari, Kirinyaga Central MP Gachoki Gitari confronted former Premier Raila Odinga, asking him to tell Annan to stop interfering with the sovereignty of Kenya and leave President Uhuru Kenyatta alone to implement the Jubilee manifesto instead of attending the case proceedings against him at the Hague-based court.

The MP’s sentiments came a few days after Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed accused Annan of interfering with Africans yet he lives in Switzerland.

However, as much as Kenyan leaders seem hell-bent on crucifying Annan, I am of the opinion that he should not be victimised.

Everybody who saw and still vividly recalls the 2008 post-election chaos that left more than 1,000 people dead and more than half a million displaced from their homes should attest that no single African leader, apart from Annan, was able to contain the situation.

Were it not for Annan’s courage, and arbitration skills, Kenya was heading for the dogs in 2008.

In addition, Annan did not conduct any investigation on the orchestrators of the post-election mayhem. Annan is innocent on this and we should treat him so.

{Julius Otieno, Moi University}

 

Annan is going to the extreme in terms of Kenyan affairs. It looks like he wants to decide for us what we must and must not do.

Though he helped midwife Kenya’s signing of the National Accord at the height of the 2008 post-election violence that helped end the wanton killings and restore peace, his job is finished and he needs to be told that Kenya belongs to Kenyans and should, therefore, keep off the business of the ICC trials involving three Kenyans.

{Dennis Mark, }

 

Before we blame anyone for our problems with the ICC, have we worked out an alternative judicial mechanism as we pursue the pullout option? I highly doubt it. We are simply creating a vacuum, a free-for-all environment for despots and dictators. We must seek dignity from the global community by first strengthening our institutions.

African leaders should at all times consult their citizens on crucial decisions. Pulling out of the Rome Statute without wider consultations is bad for the continent. A national referendum on the matter would strengthen the move.

While we wish our president and his deputy well, withdrawing the country from ICC is not the best strategy.

{Concerned Kenyan, Nairobi}

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