Canadian High Commissioner David Angell. He faulted MPs move to have Kenya withdraw from the Rome Statute. PHOTO/PHOEBE OKALL
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
A diplomat has warned that the move last week by law makers to
have Kenya pull out of the Rome Statute could jeopardise future search
for international justice for Kenyans.
Commissioner in Nairobi David Angell said pulling out of the Rome
Statute, that established the International Criminal Court (ICC), would
deal a blow to any future victims of violence that Kenyan judicial
system would not handle.
“Citizens should have the same
access to international justice just as what citizens of any other
country have. The International Criminal Court is a Kenyans’ court,” he
said on Monday evening in Nairobi.
“Our position to the
Kenyan government is that accountability is important and responding to
impunity is important. Part of the international justice involves
looking at the interests of the victims. Dealing with any sort of
concerns for the victims that gives rise to a judicial process is very
important,” he said.
Last week on Thursday, MPs were
recalled for a special session where they passed a motion to withdraw
Kenya from the Rome Statute in move widely seen as a reaction to the
cases facing President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto at the
ICC in The Hague.
If it goes through, Kenya would
become the first state party to pull out of the treaty created in 1999
and amended in 2010. But the cases already before the ICC would not be
affected and Kenya would be required to continue with obligations
contained in the Statute.
The envoy who was speaking
after the launch of a book on ethnicity and nationhood in the country
said Kenya, as any other country, has a duty to protect its citizens and
entering international treaties was part of guarantee to protect those
“Any country that is a signatory to the Rome
Statute has obligations. We are very pleased that the defendants have
reaffirmed their intention to cooperate with the court,” he said.
Ruto and his co-accused Joshua Sang trial started early on Tuesday at
The Hague. He formally pleaded not guilty to charges of three counts of
crimes against humanity for allegedly organising 2007-2008 post-election
President Kenyatta faces five charges of
crimes against humanity, murder, rape, persecution and deportation. He
would become the first sitting Head of State to be tried at the court
when his case begins on November 12 this year.