The Kenyan parliament yesterday took the first step to withdraw from the Rome Statute when it passed a motion to introduce a bill to that effect in the next 30 days.
While critics of the Kenyan government might claim that Kenya is acting out of spite because its President and Vice President are among those indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), others see it as a strong message, a vote of no confidence in the ICC.
The ICC has been accused by many countries for its selective prosecutions targeting only Africans, that it is used by some powerful countries to settle scores. Some have even qualified it as a political court without appeal.
The USA is one of the major countries that have opposed the court. The country’s main objections are interference with their national sovereignty and a fear of politically motivated prosecutions, the same reasons some African countries are advancing now.
Many rushed to append their signatures to the creation of the court without fully understanding the consequences, now they are wringing their fingers seeking an exit strategy.
Kenya’s drastic step of taking measures to pull out of the Rome Statutes might open the floodgates for other countries to gain courage and follow suit.
Will the ICC survive an African onslaught on its existence? Hardly not; unless it reinvents itself, treats Africans on a level footing and ceases to be a tool of nefarious interests.