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Is Government Planning to Dance on the Graves of Victims?

Following vacation of the crimes against humanity charges that were facing Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto and former Radio Journalist Joshua Sanga, government plans to hold a rally to celebrate the new turn of events at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Some have termed the planned rally in Afraha Stadium, Nakuru as government’s plan to dance on the graves of the victims of the post-election violence of 2007-8 who have never received any form of justice. I have not said anything about that and am not sure I will any time soon. It is matter that should be left to individual consciences.  

Meanwhile the African Union (AU) through a ministerial council has come up with a raft of measures that the continental body needs to take to counter the ICC. It is clear that the AU led by Kenya has been on a combat mode regarding with the ICC since Uhuru and Ruto came to power. Both gentlemen were formerly indicted by the ICC but they have since been let loose, thanks to what the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) has termed political interference and lack of state cooperation with her office. This has partly found its way to the Judge’s rulings. Somehow those cases might be resurrected especially if and when there is change of government in Kenya. Aware of this reality, the government of Kenya is not going to relent on its “war against the ICC” especially within and through the AU. For those who thought the Kenya/AU vs ICC battle is over; I dare say hold on, the storm is not over. It can only shift.

One of the big card that the AU has been tossing around after every while is a threat of massive withdrawal of African states from the Rome Statute that created the ICC. Legal pundits have been quick to point out legal technicalities around the said move since states are individual subscribers to the Rome Statue. But the AU, on the other hand, maintains that it will mobilize states to withdraw en masse from the ICC. Whether African states will collectively agree to that is yet to be seen when and if that call finally comes to pass. Whereas this debate of the ICC and the AU is on analysts seem to agree that it is largely centered on shielding the interest of few African individuals in power. It has nothing much to do with the strategic interests of Africa or any other African country as such, leave alone the peoples of the continent.

But as it rages on, let us remember that this debate revolves around two major values both of which are protected by international law. On the one hand is the immunity of state officials from jurisdiction of foreign courts, an integral aspect of sovereign equality of states and an essential prerequisite to preserve the stability of international relations. And on the other, lies the obligation to avoid impunity by granting immunity across board, in situations where grave crimes which shock the conscience of humanity are committed by persons enjoying immunity. The choice is ours. 
Is Government Planning to Dance on the Graves of Victims? Is Government Planning to Dance on the Graves of Victims? Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on April 13, 2016 Rating: 5

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