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President Uhuru Kenyatta formally asks House to dump ICC

By Alphonce Shiundu | April 20th 2016
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto with other acquitted suspects of the ICC cases, Hon. Henry Kosgey, Rtd Maj Gen. Hussein Ali, Amb Francis Muthaura and Mr. Joshua Sang pose for a photo at the Nakuru State Lodge before the Thanksgiving prayer service at the Afraha Stadium annex, Nakuru County on 16th April, 2016.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has formally asked MPs to approve laws to pull Kenya out of the Rome Statute.

The details of the formal request came to the fore on a day that National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale scoffed at threats from the International Criminal Court (ICC) that Kenya risked penalties from the Assembly of State Parties if it failed to hand over the three Kenyans wanted for witness tampering.

In his dispatch to the House, the President  asked MPs to follow through two pending resolutions in both Houses that asked his Government to “suspend any links, co-operation and assistance”.

“Parliament is urged to take such necessary measures to ensure actualisation of this resolution but to do so in a manner that respects our constitutional order,” he said.

The wording of that presidential directive is exactly the same that the President sent to Parliament a year ago, but then, the MPs, in a House dominated by the ruling Jubilee coalition, hesitated. They feared withdrawal would affect the cases against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang.

 Review Options

The difference now is that, the call to MPs comes just two days after the Head of State vowed that “no other Kenyan will go to the ICC”.

The Head of State said his Government “continues to review and consider many options for implementing this resolution” and was keen on the mass pull-out being worked on by a ministerial committee in the African Union.

“As steps towards implementing the directives from Parliament, the National Executive led the African Union at its 26th Session in Addis Ababa to... empower an open-ended ministerial committee to lead Africa’s engagement with the ICC including by developing within six months a comprehensive strategy for collective withdrawal from the ICC,” said the President.

That call to the House is contained in a 365-page report on the Progress made in fulfilling the international obligations of the republic.

Yesterday, Mr Duale told The Standard that the House was waiting for the AU Ministerial Committee that was tasked with coming up with a comprehensive strategy to file its report with the union.

“Once that is done, you will see us implementing our resolution here,” he said.

The bill to repeal the International Crimes Act was introduced in the House last year.

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