Kenya will take seriously the possibility of withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC), the president said Monday in statements that criticized the impartiality of the court and its impact on national sovereignty.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, speaking during Kenya’s independence day celebrations in Nairobi, noted that the Kenyan parliament has twice passed a motion to withdraw from the court.
“We are champions of global institutions that are grounded in fairness and respect for national sovereignty,” Kenyatta said. “The Kenyan cases at the International Criminal Court have ended, but the experience has given us cause to observe that this institution has become a tool of global power politics and not the justice it was built to dispense.”
Kenyatta said that although Kenya is not the world’s richest or most powerful nation, the nation deserves an equal share of respect that has not been forthcoming from the ICC.
“Our experience at the ICC demonstrated a glaring lack of impartiality in this institution,” he said. “We have started to see many more nations openly recognizing that the ICC is not impartial.”
The ICC formally withdrew charges against Kenyatta two years ago in a case that centered on the electoral violence that swept Kenya in 2007 and 2008. Kenya’s lack of cooperation made it impossible to move forward with prosecution, the ICC said.
Kenyatta addressed that painful episode in Kenya’s history during his Jamhuri Day remarks, calling Kenyans to unity and warning against foreign interference in next year’s elections.
In recent months, South Africa, Burundi and The Gambia announced their intention to withdraw from the ICC.
Image: President Uhuru Kenyatta