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Kenya Should Slow Down on the ICC

 Only a fool can advise Kenya to pull out of the ICC at this time but I doubt we have a shortage of such at home, after all, how did Kenya’s leadership handle the cases at the ICC? Kenya was so combative. That combative approach sometimes pays but not always. The country may have succeeded in turning the ICC into an international mockery but it may not always succeed in all its other moves against The Hague based international tribunal. If I were them, I would advise them to cool the heads and make sober moves based not only on well calculated moves but also reasoned choices. Kenya is at the crossroads. It is not the right time for Kenya to contemplate, leave alone taking a lead in AU’s onslaught against the ICC, after all, people like Museveni are very good at pushing the rest to the fire. Kenya’s leadership may have trusted Museveni way too much not until when he surprised them with the oil pipeline. Mr. Kenyatta must start thinking when and where Museveni’s friendship starts and ends.

It is not the right time for Kenya to think about quitting the ICC, actually there shall never be such a time. Kenya is safe with the ICC than not. There shall come a time when Kenya will need the ICC more than any other thing. Signs of the time do not lie but they need to be read and read well. Anyway, it is fine if Kenya still wants to quit the ICC, the country has a very clear framework to do so but then I still insist if such is to happen, it should not be allowed to happen now for it is simply not the right time. There are a number of reasons.

Kenya would antagonize the international community and is likely to lose some allies or and slow down relations with certain friends. With all the current issues in the regional balance of power, such as the rise of Tanzania, the politics of the oil pipeline and the standard gauge railway (SGR) touching on Uganda and Rwanda respectively, it appears that the cods that bind the nations of the East African Community (EAC) together are starting to loosen. Let Kenya not forget that it is still fresh in the minds of many nations how the country arrogantly antagonized the international community over the ICC cases. Many have not forgotten the disorder and embarrassment caused by Kenyan leaders during the assembly of state parties to the Rome Statute and many have not forgotten those turf statements as uttered by Kenya’s top diplomat Ms. Amina Mohammed and blackmailing by the defense cabinet secretary, Ms. Raychelle Omamo. Many countries that have been good friends with Kenya, especially those in Eastern Europe, openly expressed their displeasure with the manner in which Kenya conducted itself and the tactics that the country deployed against the ICC. An outright cutting of ties with the ICC, in as much as it may appear enticing to Kenya’s leadership, it may lead to a revisit of ties with Kenya by some longtime friends and there won’t be much to celebrate about that but a lot to lose.

Let Kenya not forget that alternatives, in the name of Rwanda and Tanzania have since emerged in the region and many countries will find it not difficult at all to shift their focus as it was sometimes back. Things have changed. It is no longer that time when foreign nations would only think about Kenya as the getaway to east and central Africa. Kenya’s mistake on its international obligations at this point in time, following a series of bad conduct may taint its global image and lead to very bad consequences. Furthermore, the current political challenges at home touching on critical institutions like the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the judiciary, arbiters of a free and fair election are already eroding international confidence in Kenya as the country fast approaches another, to be very divisive, elections. I would advise Ambassador Amina to slow down on her enthusiastic offensive against the ICC and focus on mending relations with countries whose relations with Kenya have been bruised especially those in eastern Europe. Kenya may need them at some point, probably sooner than the country’s leadership seems to think. 

Kenya Should Slow Down on the ICC Kenya Should Slow Down on the ICC Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on May 26, 2016 Rating: 5

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