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African states to persist with push for exodus from the ICC

Tuesday April 12, 2016

Th e ICC courts in the Netherlands. / ICC

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The African Union Ministerial Committee on the ICC has resolved to continue with the push for mass withdrawal from the court.

In a meeting in Addis Ababa, the ministers resolved that Africa will withdraw, unless the court gives immunity to sitting heads of state and government as well as senior government officials,

They also demanded there should be recognition of the primacy of African judicial mechanisms and AU decision making organs over the ICC.

The ministers also said there must be reduction of powers of the prosecutor.

“Provisions of the African Union charter and constitutive act as well as the decisions of the AU Assembly must be respected and take precedent over the Rome Statute and decisions of the any other organ,” the ministers said.

They also said proposals by Kenya on the amendment of the Rome Statutes must be dealt with expeditiously ahead of the Assembly of States Parties in November.

These proposals include Article 27 – on Immunity, Preambular part of Rome Statute to allow for complementarity of regional judicial institutions.

Kenya also wants Article 16 on the deferral of cases and Article 70 – offences against administration of justice amended. The AU ministers also asked the court to stop pursuing arrest warrants issued against three Kenyans over alleged interference of witnesses.

“Having terminated the cases of the Deputy President and Joshua Sang, the committee felt it was unhelpful to pursue warrants of arrests that may have been issued on some other Kenyans,” the AU ministers said. Kenya has been pushing for the withdrawal from the ICC over the just ended cases of Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang. Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta said Kenya would continue to push for reforms at the ICC, failing which the country will withdrawal from the court.


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