CORD leader Raila Odinga yesterday slammed African Union, AU, calling it “a shame and a double-dealing union” to Africa for conspiring to pull out of the Rome Statute.
Dismayed by the development, Raila denounces the AU for wrongly concentrating on how Africa can withdraw from the ICC even with the violent killing and wounding of people in Burundi.
In a statement, Raila said:
This continent has seen so much pain and shame. We must close, not reopen that chapter once and for all. The leaders must spare their people this hypocrisy.
Naming AU holier-than-thou, the Kenya’s opposition coalition CORD leader Raila Odinga accused African Union of supporting human rights abuse by not deploying troops to stamp out the conflict in Burundi.
He says the union rather made withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) its focal point.
According to Mr Odinga, the country was in the cliff face of a genocide and requires efforts to be directed towards re-establishment of peace, democracy and equity.
Raila said The Hague is the only justice mechanism for helpless Africans.
A proposal by President Uhuru Kenyatta was adopted by the AU on Sunday. This proposal tended to gain AU’s support that will enable African nations withdraw from the Rome Statute.
The proposal was adopted together with a report recommending termination of the charges against Deputy President William Ruto.
While Raila avoided commenting on Ruto case, he likens AU’s action to be sanctimonious.
One would have thought that saving lives and stopping the genocide in a member state would be priority to African leaders.
He explained that a good number of African countries have tasted the bitterness of state-sanctioned human rights abuses and violence, recently in Darfur and Ivory Coast, without local mechanisms to ensure justice.
Common sense would also dictate that talk of withdrawal from the ICC be preceded by presentation of alternative institutions and legal infrastructure to give Africans what they were looking for when they joined the ICC in the first place.