By Confidente Reporter
ALTHOUGH Namibia is still a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC), it is time for society to trust the country’s institutions to properly govern it, Minister of International Relations and Corporation Netumbo Nandi- Ndaitwah said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, was addressing the media in the capital during an editors’ breakfast meeting yesterday where she said that if the country withdraws from ICC, there is nothing to lose.
“When you ask the question, is Namibia going to withdraw from the ICC you should also ask whether we trust ourselves. If we don’t, then that is serious. We cannot have someone watching over us all the time, we need to trust our institutions to properly lead us. I always think about how America is not a member of the ICC, because people there trust their institutions. If we withdraw, we are not going to lose anything. It just shows that we have trust in our institutions,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.
She added, “Namibia is still a member and as such has not withdrawn ratification of the Rome Statute. At the recent AU Summit, the AU member states adopted an ICC Withdrawal Strategy as Africa’s position on the ICC.”
Nandi-Ndaitwah also said that the country’s position has always been that countries have the right to withdraw from the ICC, provided that there are strong judicial institutions and systems at the national level in all AU member states.
“While we aware that Namibia can effect meaningful change through the Rome Statute, Namibia supports the collective withdrawal as a principle, fully cognizant of the fact that it is duty bound to follow the procedures as dictated by its own domestic laws.”
Cabinet nearly two years ago supported the withdrawal from the ICC after President Hage Geingob visited former Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete in that country. Geingob, who chairs the Cabinet was lobbying his counterpart in Tanzania at the time.
Swapo has over the years repeatedly criticised the ICC for being biased against Africa and other developing countries, and targeting African leaders. Geingob also urged fellow African countries to pull out of the ICC if it is becoming an “abomination” by not serving its mandate.
“Some people are saying we are the ones who created the ICC. However, when one creates something to be an asset but later on it becomes an abomination, you have the right to quit it since it has ceased serving its intended purpose,” Geingob was quoted at the time.
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