NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10 – Members of the National Assembly from Jubilee and CORD on Thursday differed over remarks attributed to former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan after he warned Kenya against leaving the Rome Statute that establishes the International Criminal Court.
Leader of Majority Coalition in the National Assembly Aden Duale led 20 Members of Parliament in reprimanding the former UN chief.
The MPs who included CORD’s Joseph Nkaiserry and Victor Munyaka accused Annan whom they termed a foreigner on the African continent, of being behind the woes facing leaders who are currently facing trial at the ICC.
Duale repeated his claim that the ICC is only targeting African states.
“He is not even an African; he is just a white man,” he continued. “He is just wearing the skin but he is more of a white man. He cannot lecture African leaders.”
Annan, who lead the mediation process in the Kenyan political crisis after the 2007 disputed presidential election had warned that quitting the Rome Statute would be a “badge of shame” for Africa.
Duale labelled Annan as the owner of the ICC which was established during his tenure as the UN Secretary General as a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes,
The Leader of Majority Coalition said Annan was on a mission to further the aims of the court in 2008, when he helped negotiate an end to the post-election violence.
“What he started in 1998 in Rome as a Secretary General was what he came to implement as mediator,” Duale asserted.
But CORD MPs Junet Mohammed (Suna East), David Ochieng (Ugenya) and Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir (Mvita) urged the Foreign Secretary Amina Mohammed and Majority Leader against castigating former UN Secretary General.
“We should not vilify Kofi Annan, he is great man in this world… he is an African Eminent Person. If I may take back your memory remember in 2007/8 when we were butchering each other in this country like nobody’s business, it is under the leadership of Kofi Annan that the Grand Coalition Government was brokered,” Mohammed stated.
“It is saddening that we are attacking the one person who stayed around, when the rest of the world was turning their back on us. We have to learn (as a nation) how to accept criticism from our friends,” Nassir said.
The ICC is intended to complement existing national judicial systems, and may only exercise its jurisdiction when national courts are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute war crimes.
An extra-ordinary African Union Summit has been convened in Addis Ababa this weekend to discuss Africa’s future relationship with the ICC.