South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Thursday said 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 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.