Kenya urged to fulfill ICC pact

September 5, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 4 – The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has urged the government to live up to the agreement it signed with the International Criminal Court.

Kenya on Friday signed 16 MoU articles that will enable the ICC set up base in the country to follow up on the perpetrators of 2008 post-election violence.

Commissioner Hassan Omar Hassan said that cooperating fully with the international court would underscore the government’s commitment to counter impunity in Kenya.

“It would be ironic for them (the government) to append their signature and then at the point and time when they are asked to hand over the indictees, they play a wavering game,” he said.

“This is going to be very injurious to the national outlook as a country. They should hand over the suspects within the framework of cooperation they have committed themselves to,” he stated.

The agreement will allow the ICC to establish its premises in Kenya.  Its property and assets including archives and documents shall be inviolable and immune from any legal process.

It will also be entitled to display its flag, emblem and markings at its premises and on its vehicles.

According to the agreement, the court alone may give consent for entry into its premises by any government officials or of any other person who is not an official of the court.

The ICC shall further have international legal personality and shall also have such capacity under Kenyan laws for the exercise of its functions.

The articles signed in the presence of other members of Cabinet committee that coordinates issues between the Government and the ICC accords it the right to establish offices, camps and other premises for its operations and accommodation of staff.

The Government is to facilitate the work of international or local contractors for the establishment and management of the facilities.

The ICC\’s assets, income and other property and its operations and transactions will be exempt from all direct taxes.

The court will also be exempt from all custom duties, import turnover taxes and prohibitions and restrictions on imports and exports for the items for its official use.

In an interview with Capital News, Mr Hassan asked Kenyans to have reasonable expectations of the ICC.

“They need to continue to be vigilant, to cooperate with the ICC. They need to walk into the ICC’s office to give further information. They need to ensure that once the investigation is complete the government honours its obligation,” he said.

“As much as it is a very positive and a laudable step forward, it is not necessarily a favour, it is the government discharging its legal obligation,” he stated.

The agreement’s primary purpose is to enable The Hague based organisation to fully and efficiently discharge its mandate and fulfill its purpose in Kenya.

It came into effect on Friday and will remain in force until its amended or terminated by agreement of both the Court and the Government.


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