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January 2005 - Kenya
Urge the government to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Kenya signed the Rome Statute on 11 August 1999. Government officials are reportedly in the advanced stages of drafting the necessary implementing legislation, and have indicated that Kenya is actively considering ratification.
Recently, the Minister of Justice and many other officials have stated that Kenya was close to the ratification. Even though some constitutional problems have been raised; the Attorney-General said Kenya was considering both ratification and implementing legislation.
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) and its members are calling on Kenya to complete its ratification process as soon as possible. By doing so, Kenya would accept the jurisdiction of the ICC over genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, if its national courts were unwilling or unable to investigate and prosecute such crimes.
So far, 97 states worldwide including 26 African countries have ratified the Rome Statute. By ratifying the Rome Statute, Kenya will encourage other African countries to join the ICC.
Take action now!
Support CICC’s appeal by sending letters by mail or fax urging the government of Kenya to ratify the Rome Statute and implement it into national law.
You might like to use the following letter as a guide.
Send your letter to:
H.E. Mwai KIBAKI
President of Kenya
Fax: (254) 20 21 47 91
(If you receive an email failure, the email box is full. Please try the email again in a few days)
H.E. Chirau Ali Mwakwere,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Fax: (254) 20 34 19 35
At a time when the International Criminal Court (ICC) is beginning its important work to end impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes with its first two cases in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, we are writing to urge you to ensure that the Republic of Kenya supports this new and vital system of international justice by ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (The Rome Statute) as soon as possible.
The Rome Statute, which entered into force on July 1, 2002, provides for the establishment of a permanent International Criminal Court which will only act when national courts are unable or unwilling to do so. As of December 31, 2004, a total of 97 states have ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute, including 26 African countries (Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia). A further 43 states, including the Republic of Kenya, have signed the Rome Statute.
We welcome reports that ratification of the Rome Statute is currently before your Cabinet and that your government has been examining the treaty in detail. We now urge you to move forward with prompt ratification and domestic implementation of the Statute. Genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes should be included in your domestic law and defined in a way that is consistent with the Rome Statute and other international law in order to ensure that the Republic of Kenya can perform its primary role of investigating and prosecuting these crimes. It is also important to draft legislation to provide a legal basis for Kenya's cooperation with the Court.
We also hope the ratification and implementation of the ICC treaty will be transparent processes that encourage the involvement of members of the general public, civil society organizations and human rights groups in Kenya.
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) is pleased to note that the Republic of Kenya has not signed a Bilateral Immunity Agreement (BIA) with the United States. This courageous stance will have significant effects in East Africa and other African regions in light of Kenya's leading role in human rights and peace-building efforts on the continent. We therefore urge the Republic of Kenya to continue resisting U.S. demands for blanket immunity from the Court.
We hope that the Republic of Kenya will take steps towards ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute as soon as possible so that it can act together with the international community in building an effective system of international justice to end impunity for the worst crimes known to humanity.