Nairobi (dpa) – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said Monday his country was considering withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, after three other African countries announced they were leaving the Hague-based tribunal.
“This institution has become a tool of global power politics,” Kenyatta said in a speech marking the east African country’s 53rd independence day.
He accused the ICC of “a glaring lack of impartiality” and pointed out that some countries had pulled out of it.
In recent months, Burundi, South Africa and Gambia announced they were leaving the ICC, accusing it of focusing on human rights violations in Africa rather than other continents.
Gambia’s president-elect Adama Barrow, who won the December 1 elections, however has said he would reverse the decision taken by his predecessor and that the west African country would remain in the ICC.
The Kenyan parliament already voted in favour of leaving the ICC in 2013.
The vote was related to ICC proceedings against Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, for 2007-2008 post-election violence, in which more than 1,000 people were killed.
The charges against Kenyatta were dropped in 2014 for lack of evidence. The charges against Ruto were dropped this year, because of alleged meddling with witnesses.
“We will … need to give serious thought to our membership” in the ICC, Kenyatta said.
Withdrawals from the ICC are seen as undermining the authority of the tribunal, with Amnesty International describing such moves as “a blow to millions of victims around the world.”