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Kenya yet to decide on ICC withdrawal

By Wilfred Ayaga and Scophine Otieno | October 24th 2016
The country is yet to decide on whether to back out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) following a decision by South Africa and Burundi to issue their notices of withdrawal.PHOTO: COURTESY

The country is yet to decide on whether to back out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) following a decision by South Africa and Burundi to issue their notices of withdrawal.

Despite threats from Jubilee-allied politicians that the country would withdraw from ICC, a statement from State House yesterday said that a decision on the matter was 'pending'.

State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu yesterday said the issue was yet to be deliberated within the Cabinet before preparations of all necessary instruments can be done.

"So, it is accurate to say that a decision of the Executive is pending," Mr Esipisu said during his weekly briefing.

"In terms of procedure, the ultimate decision as to whether Kenya will pull out or not is subject to Cabinet deliberation.

To withdraw from a treaty, you need an Executive deliberation and then Cabinet directs the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General to prepare the appropriate instruments and deposit them with the relevant authorities. These processes have not come up," he said.

In the wake of crimes against humanity charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, the duo's supporters incessantly questioned the relevance of the court, and called for a withdrawal.

The cases against the two later collapsed, and the noises died down, but not before Parliament passed two resolutions withdrawing the country's backing for the Rome Statute that established the court.


Last week, South Africa initiated its own process following the example of Burundi that had done so earlier.

The South African government forwarded a Bill to Parliament for approval amid growing concerns that the court, established in 1998, tries mostly African leaders.

The Burundi Parliament has already voted to leave, indicating that the East Africa country may be the first to bolt out of the international covenant.

And some ODM legislators have warned Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale against tabling a Bill that could see Kenya withdraw from ICC.

ODM National Chairman John Mbadi and Homa Bay County Woman Representative Gladys Wanga said the move was motivated by Jubilee's plan to rig the next General Election.

Speaking at a fundraiser in Migori, the legislators asserted that ODM MPs would oppose the Bill.

Mbadi said the Ccuntry cannot withdraw from the ICC without a referendum.

The MPs said the ICC was playing an important role of checking the conduct of dictators who ruled their countries with iron fists.

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