This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Plenary speech on Kenya, failure to arrest President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan

Marietje Schaake − Madam President, Kenya, as well as other African countries, is an essential partner of the EU in a number of key areas such as security, development and trade. Africa played a crucial role in the establishment of the ICC and its commitment to the court’s Statute is also reinforced in Article 4 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union. The Cotonou Agreement between the EU and Kenya lays down the conditions for partnership, and in this agreement conditionality on trade and aid in terms of adhering to democratic and human rights standards are clearly spelled out. Unfortunately, on 27 August, Omar al-Bashir visited Kenya as an official guest of the government, a dignitary. This happened during the period of an arrest warrant brought against al-Bashir for his alleged role in the genocide in Darfur in Sudan. Al-Bashir can still defend his case before the ICC, but first needs to be brought to The Hague. Kenya had the obligation to arrest him while he was on its soil and failed to do so. This is a serious problem. It is a signal that the government does not play a credible role in adhering to agreements it has itself signed up to, and this should be a serious problem for the EU. We have to make sure that we adhere to our own standards in fighting impunity, and we need to fight impunity in Africa to create more stability and democracy. I would like to ask the High Representative to take serious diplomatic action against Kenya and to remind its leaders of their commitment to the Rome Statute.