On 22nd December 2010 Kenyas Members of Parliament overwhelmingly voted to have our nation quit the International Criminal Court (ICC). Their rationale was that the decision by Mr. Luis-Moreno Ocampo to propose two cases for prosecution in this international court was an attack on our sovereignty and not in the best interests of Kenya.
At the same time all opinion polls conducted so far show that ordinary Kenyans support the ICC process, and discussions in all public spaces indicate that Kenyans do not support any move to scuttle this process. However, the Members of Parliament still insist that Kenya must withdraw from the ICC.
It is on this basis that we, the over 1,000,000 Kenyans signed hereunder, have decided to categorically speak up for ourselves, and clearly state what we want.
We hereby very firmly state that we do not support the proposal by parliament to remove Kenya from the ICC, and that this is not our desire as the Kenyan the MPs purport to represent in Parliament.
We take this stand for the following 5 main reasons:
1. The ICC prosecutions are our best chance of knowing the truth about the 2007 PEV.
2. The truth that will come out of the ICC prosecutions will work against the ever-increasing narratives of inter-ethnic grievance and mistrust that tend to be the basis on which political competition for Kenyas state power has been conducted since the introduction of multi-party politics. This strategy led to the 1992, 1997 and 2007 Post Election Violence (PEV), and we cannot afford to go into another election without getting dealing with it.
3. The ICC prosecutions start Kenya on the journey of seeking justice for the victims of all Post Election Violence to-date, because it debunks the myth that there exists any Kenyan who is above the law. This is necessary in a democratic state especially if we are ever to locally prosecute other crimes inherent to Post Election Violence in future.
4. Our current justice systems are not able, ready and/or willing to prosecute PEV perpetrators, as has clearly been shown by the fact that in three years since the 2007 PEV we have not successfully prosecuted any perpetrators of the violence. In addition the investigative and judicial systems to be established as required under the new constitution, and which could successfully prosecute cases of the magnitude currently at the ICC, will not be realized for several years.
5. The MPs have always overwhelmingly supported the ICC process and on two occasions refused to support the institution of a local tribunal as suggested by the Executive, stating Do Not Be Vague, Go To The Hague. It is therefore clear that the recent change of heart to now withdraw Kenya from the ICC is driven solely by the sudden realization that it could adversely affect the political careers of some of them. This is self-seeking and a slap in the face of the millions of Kenyans who are today psychologically and/or physically traumatized by what happened during the 2007 PEV. It is also disrespectful to the memory of the over 1,300 Kenyans who died, and an insult to the over 650,000 Kenyans who were rendered homeless.
Whereas we admit that starting the process of seeking for justice for the 2007 PEV victims outside Kenya is not a first choice for many of us because of the embarrassing implication that our country is not yet fully capable and/or prepared to handle that issue. However, we also feel that in the present circumstances we would rather face this embarrassment than the even bigger threat of a re-occurrence of the 2007 PEV, a re-occurrence that all local and international observers of the Kenya situation assure us would make the 2007 PEV look like a Sunday school childrens picnic.
We therefore state very clearly, loudly and simply that Kenya Cannot Get Out of The Rome Statute, that we do not support the proposal by Members of the 10th Parliament to pull Kenya out of the ICC, and that our representatives in Parliament must respect our wishes and stop any further attempts to pull Kenya out of the ICC.
Signed by the Following Citizens of The Republic Of Kenya.
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