President of Sudan Omar Hassan al-Bashir, former South African President Thabo Mbeki and President Silva Kiir of South Sudan at a cooperation agreement celebration in Ethiopia. The two states have pledged to end differences., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
South Sudan says war crimes court persecutes Africans
By Hereward Holland
Reuters – Thu, May 23, 2013
JUBA (Reuters) - South Sudan's President Salva Kiir said on Thursday his country would never become a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying it appeared to be preoccupied with prosecuting African leaders.
"It seems that this thing has been meant for African leaders, that they have to be humiliated...we never accept it," Kiir told reporters, referring to the Hague-based tribunal.
"We will sit together with our brothers and sisters in Kenya," he said at a news conference in South Sudan's capital Juba held jointly with Kenya's new president Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces charges of crimes against humanity at the tribunal.
Last month, South Sudan received Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, another African leader indicted by the Hague tribunal for masterminding war crimes in the western region of Darfur.
The African Union, which is holding a summit this week, routinely accuses the ICC of bias against African leaders.
Kiir and Kenyatta also pledged to implement a memorandum of understanding signed last year to build an oil pipeline from landlocked South Sudan to Lamu on Kenya's Indian Ocean coast.
"With the pipeline project we have agreed an area where we need to tackle the funding jointly together as a join Kenyan-South Sudan project," Kenyatta said, without giving details.
South Sudan restarted oil exports through Sudan in April following a 16-month shutdown triggered by disputes over pipeline fees. The rift caused South Sudan to undertake feasibility studies for alternative pipelines through Kenya and through Ethiopia to Djibouti.
(Editing by Ulf Laessing and Michael Roddy)