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November 18, 2018

Kenya on the verge of quitting ICC

Bumula MP Boniface Otsiula.Photo/File
Bumula MP Boniface Otsiula.Photo/File

Kenya has inched a step closer to withdrawing from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, following the publication of a Bill to repeal the International Crimes Act.

The National Assembly will now seek to repeal the Act, which incorporates the Rome Statute into Kenyan law and obligates the government to cooperate with the ICC.

The Bill, by Bumula MP Boniface Otsiula, was published on October 23, after approval by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee chaired by Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga.

“The principal object of the Bill is to repeal the International Crimes Act 2008 in its entirety,” the memorandum of objects and reasons in the International Crimes (Repeal) Bill 2015 states.

“The International Crimes Act 2008 is hereby repealed,” the Bill states in the single clause.

The Bill is expected to be tabled this week, after the lapse of 14 days since publication.

If the Bill is passed and assented to by the President, Kenya will become the first country to withdraw from the ICC.

This is not the first time that MPs have set out on a motion to have Kenya withdraw from the ICC. A not dissimilar move was made in 2013, when the court demanded President Uhuru Kenyatta appear in person.

After four hours of debate, the MPs passed a motion allowing Kenya to withdraw from the ICC, though the opposition walked out of the debate.

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