News / Africa

Kenya Votes to Withdraw From ICC

Kenya Votes to Withdraw from ICCi
X
September 06, 2013 2:15 AM
Kenya’s parliament has voted to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. The decision comes just before trials at the court of the country’s president and deputy president. If Kenya does leave the ICC, it could have far-reaching consequences, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Kenya Votes to Withdraw from ICC
Henry Ridgwell
Kenya’s parliament has voted to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. The action comes before the court opens trials of the Kenyan president and deputy president on charges of crimes against humanity.  If Kenya does leave the ICC, it would be the first court member to do so - and it could have far-reaching consequences.

The parliamentary motion calling for Kenya to withdraw from the International Criminal Court passed easily after opposition MPs walked out.

The decision comes just before the country's president and deputy president face trial at the ICC in The Hague.

Majority Leader of the Kenyan Assembly Aden Duale put forward the motion to withdraw from the court.

"Mr. Speaker, I think as a country we have today made a statement based on our sovereignty as a nation," said Duale.

Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Arap Sang are due to go on trial Tuesday. The trial of President Uhuru Kenyatta is scheduled for November.

They are accused of orchestrating post-election violence in 2007, in which more than a thousand people were killed. All three say the charges are politically motivated.

ICC spokesman Fadi El Abdallah said the prosecutions do not violate Kenya’s sovereignty.

“Every state that is part of the ICC, including Kenya, freely exercised its sovereign right to join. And the people of Kenya freely exercise their democratic right during the presidential elections. The ICC process is judicial and it should not be politicized,” said El Abdallah.

William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta were opponents in 2007, but formed an alliance for this year's elections in March. Their campaign portrayed the ICC as interfering in Kenya’s domestic affairs.

Chief Prosecutor of the ICC Fatou Bensouda rejected that accusation.

“Kenya’s parliament did not manage to pass the legislation required to establish a special tribunal. Since then, the government of Kenya has not demonstrated to the judges of the ICC that it is actually investigating or prosecuting the three accused,” said Bensouda.

Broad consequences

Kenya’s withdrawal could have broad consequences, says Phil Clark, an analyst on the ICC’s work in Africa at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

“It would mean that Kenya would stop cooperating in terms of the ICC’s investigations on the ground, in terms of protecting witnesses, and the practical elements of the case. And I guess on a wider frame, there’s a high chance that other African states will see this as a green light for them to do likewise,” says Clark.

The African Union has accused the ICC of ‘hunting’ Africans because of their race - a charge the court strongly denies. But it’s a view that is gaining strength in Africa, says Phil Clark.

“You have very powerful actors, including the U.S. and other members of the Security Council, who are willing to use the ICC around the world when it suits them to intervene in cases where Western powers have interests, but not to sign up to the court themselves,” says Clark.

Kenya’s full withdrawal from the ICC would take up to a year - and still requires the government, not parliament, to formally notify the United Nations secretary-general.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Simon from: Kimura
September 06, 2013 1:14 AM
ICC is a political tool at the disposal of the West to advance their political and economic interests. It is not about justice for the victims they pretend to fight for.Africa must pull out.In Kenyan case, the witnesses were coached by donor-funded NGOs in a bid to impose the preferred candidate of the West on Kenyans. However, Kenyans rose to the occasion and reclaimed their sovereignty. We are willing to take this to the bitter and dead end. Our forefathers paid the ultimate price for our independence.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid