Risk Roundup

Tuesday, 10 September, 2013

Reuters reports Boko Haram/Civilian militia clash in North Eastern Nigeria leaving 18 dead


Potential Kenya withdrawal from International Criminal Court

Following failure in the pursuit of those responsible for the 2007 election violence in Kenya, the Kenyan parliament  in Nairobi has voted to secede from the statute of international law that governs ICC involvement.

A quote from African Arguments: “The parliamentary vote certainly does not reflect the wishes of the victims of the 2007 post electoral violence who still prefer proceedings in The Hague to trials at home. Despite the slow pace of ICC proceedings and the repeated delays in trial preparation, these victims still want the trials to be heard at the International Criminal Court and proceedings to take place in The Hague rather than Arusha or Nairobi. But the parliamentary vote will make it even more difficult to publicly support the hearings in The Hague.

Meanwhile, supporters of the Court fear that if Kenya can withdraw from the Rome Statute, so can others. Kenya had been a very strong supporter of international justice until the cases against Kenyatta and Ruto and its U-turn gives reason to worry. It follows the recent trend of the African Union to turn up the volume on its complaints about imperial justice and the ICC hunting down Africans. A mass exodus of African states, with 33 ratifications the second  strongest continental bloc of supporters for the ICC, would seriously question the global claim of the court and indicate that if states do not agree with prosecution strategies they can just withdraw from the Statute.”

The consequence to land use of the ICC withdrawal is that deterioration in adhering to international statues and civil rights, makes managing cross-border investment risk and the establishment of stable business environments problematic. It doesn’t help that key members of the sitting Government may well be involved in prosecutions.