And it is not him alone.

"Senior state officials" will not be prosecuted for similar violations until they leave office.

The term "senior state officials" remains undefined, leading to ambiguity and the potential for exploitation of this provision.

Ruto's signature allows for the ratification of the Malabo Protocol and the submission of the corresponding instruments to the African Union Commission. These steps are mandated to be completed within the next three months, setting an impending deadline of October.

Kenya will ratify the protocol in September, Ruto has announced, underscoring the swift way this regime is pushing forward with a law that further solidifies impunity within the country. The African Union (AU) adopted the Malabo Protocol in 2014 with the optimistic aim of introducing a regional accountability mechanism and reinforcing the concept of "African solutions for African problems". Regrettably, the current scenario seems to be contradictory, as the protocol appears to be facilitating the consolidation of impunity among authoritarian leaders.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) express profound concern over President Ruto's action. This decision has ignited significant apprehension regarding its likely ramifications for the quest for justice on behalf of victims and survivors of international crimes within Kenya. Sadly, it is these individuals who stand to be most adversely affected. KHRC and MUHURI firmly believes that Ruto's choice is unmistakably aimed at undermining the fundamental right to seek redress and reparations for these victims.

The aftermath of Ruto's indictment alongside five others by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for their alleged roles in the 2007 post-poll violence serves as a stark reminder. The cases crumbled due to the absence of crucial evidence, attributed to Kenya's failure to provide it. Ponder the potential consequences if a scenario arises where the President and "senior government officials" are shielded from prosecution during their terms. This situation could prove highly challenging for investigations and the establishment of accountability, rendering the task exceedingly complex.

Ruto’s signing and the looming ratification of Malabo Protocol is a continuation of Kenya’s campaign to defeat international justice mechanisms, specifically, the ICC. Kenya is signatory to the Rome Statute of the ICC and is obligated to ensure that perpetrators of crimes against humanity are held to account at the Hague. Malabo protocol presents a complex situation regarding how Kenya would take someone to be tried at the ICC, and more importantly, how victims and survivors will pursue justice and reparations for international crimes.

KHRC and MUHURI strongly urges the government to reconsider ratifying the Malabo protocol as this move will weaken her international obligation before the International Criminal Court that has been instrumental for victims of serious international crimes in their pursuit for justice, reparations, and accountability. Refraining from ratification is essential to prevent undermining ICC's jurisdiction and the fight against impunity.


Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)

Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI)