The Parliament of Kenya passed a motion to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). Coincidentally, this is happening just before Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto are to face trial at The Hague for crimes against humanity. The defense counsel made some efforts to have the cases dropped or moved closer to home, but were unsuccessful. The prosecution will charge Kenyatta and Ruto with orchestrating violence following the 2007 elections, in which 1,200 people were killed. Parliament's intentions are suspicious. Proceeding with this withdrawal could set a bad precedent of countries nixing international cooperation to further their own agenda.
In support of Parliament's decision, majority leader Adan Duale points out that the United States is not an ICC member; Bill Clinton and George W. Bush both refused to join in order to protect US citizens from politically-motivated prosecutions. Duale says, "I am setting the stage to redeem the image of the Republic of Kenya."
According to the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, a state may withdraw with written notification to the UN's secretary-general. However, withdrawal does not take effect until the following year and does not affect the state's obligation to comply with criminal investigations and proceedings already underway. It is unclear whether the Kenyan government intends to honor this obligation if they move forward with the withdrawal.