Kenya can bring justice home; ICC’s part of the answer

22 January 2011 by -

After Kenyan MPs voted overwhelmingly last month to withdraw from the Rome Statute, the government must now decide whether to act for, or against, accountability.

By David Tolbert (*)

Thus far, Kenya has shown itself unwilling to investigate and prosecute the violence that almost brought the country to its knees in late 2007 and early 2008.

It was only as a result of that unwillingness that the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court opened an investigation into the crimes.

After Kenyan MPs voted overwhelmingly last month to withdraw from the Rome Statute, the government must now decide whether to act for, or against, accountability.

By David Tolbert (*)

Thus far, Kenya has shown itself unwilling to investigate and prosecute the violence that almost brought the country to its knees in late 2007 and early 2008.

It was only as a result of that unwillingness that the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court opened an investigation into the crimes.

The prosecutor has completed his investigation and has now asked the court, based in The Hague, to move against six people in two separate cases, asking them to be summoned to court to face charges of crimes against humanity.

The Kenyan parliament has responded by announcing that it will seek to withdraw from the Rome Statute that created the court.

Kenya’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute would not affect the ICC’s capacity to continue acting in relation to the announced investigations.

The withdrawal would demonstrate bad faith and an intention to shield certain persons from prosecution.

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