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Africa

Kenyatta: 'International Criminal Court is not fulfilling its mandate'

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta wants to continue his campaign against the International Criminal Court. He spoke to DW's Daniel Pelz in an exclusive interview during his state visit to Germany.

Watch video 04:27

Kenyatta on ICC, investment, terrorism

Your Excellency, you have said that the International Criminal Court either needs to be reformed or that African nations should leave. Did you discuss this with Chancellor Angela Merkel during your meetings in Berlin?

Uhuru Kenyatta: No, we did not discuss that particular issue.

Don't you need the support of countries like Germany and France if you want to reform the ICC?

Like I said, this was not the forum to do that. We are pushing and articulating our case very strongly through the state parties and also through the Security Council of the United Nations, which are the appropriate bodies for us to push that argument. And I am sure you are aware that we have articulated our position on the need to reform the ICC very clearly, and we will continue to do so.

So what is your position: Is it possible to reform the ICC, or do you agree with the Rwandan foreign minister who said on Deutsche Welle that it is better for African countries to leave?

We want reform, but we are also equally prepared to say that we shall leave if we do not get the necessary reforms that we require. But we are seeing it as a court that is not fulfilling the mandate that it was supposed to fulfill when its statute was first conceived.

President Kenyatta with Chancellor Merkel in Berlin

President Kenyatta with Chancellor Merkel in Berlin

Getting more German investors is another key component of your trip...

That is a very important component; it is the most important component of our trip because we believe that we have a very strong partnership with Germany. We already have a large number of German companies investing in Kenya, doing very good business in Kenya. We want that number to increase. That was part of the reason why we are here, to engage on that particular issue with Chancellor Merkel and with the business community of Germany with a view of increasing investment, but also trade between our two nations.

What do you tell German investors who are concerned about the high level of corruption in Kenya?

We are saying that Kenya is moving fast in terms of reforming its business indicators. One issue, of course, is corruption. We are taking this issue hands-on. A number of senior ministers and public servants have been arrested. We are strengthening our laws, creating a new bribery bill that criminalizes bribery from both the point of the giver and the taker and strengthening the institutions we have to fight corruption. We have a large number of cases before courts, awaiting determination. Kenya is seriously addressing this issue, and I believe we are making very good progress in this particular fight.

The threat by the Islamist militia al-Shabab in Somalia was also high on the agenda of your talks here. What additional support from Germany and Europe would you like to see in the fight against al-Shabab?

We are all looking at this and we are realizing that we are not fighting national wars. Terrorism is not a national battle; it is a global battle. We need far greater cooperation in areas such as intelligence sharing, in dealing with deradicalization, and in dealing with the causes of extremism. This cannot be done by any single country alone. I think there is growing agreement that we need to partner to go forward. In this case, for example, we would like to work with Germany to strengthen our own security forces to help us fight this battle better, while we also increase our cooperation in intelligence-sharing.

This interview was conducted by Daniel Pelz.

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