The Africa Report 4 September

EWN’s Africa Correspondent Jean-Jacques Cornish reports on the day’s top African news.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta leaves a hotel in London on 7 May 2013. Picture: AFP

KENYAN PARLIAMENT RECALLED TO DISCUSS ICC MEMBERSHIP

The Kenyan parliament has been recalled to debate the possibility of ending their membership at the International Criminal Court (ICC) ahead of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto's trials in The Hague.

On Tuesday, parliament was recalled one week ahead of Ruto's impending appearance in the ICC dock to face charges of playing a role in Kenya's 2007-2008 post-election violence.

Kenyatta faces the same charges which left more than 1,000 people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced and he will stand trial in November.

If Kenya is to end their membership at the ICC, they will be the first country to do so.

The vast majority of African countries are signatories of the ICC's Rome Statute which means Kenya will no longer be welcome into the territories of their African counterparts.

South Africa had recently had to advise Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir to not enter the country as the South African government would be forced to arrest him in adherence to their membership at the ICC.

Regardless of Kenya's decision which could take up to a year to process, the ICC will proceed with its trials and as Kenyatta and Ruto face indictment, they will have to stand trial.

OXFAM'S CALL TO G20 LEADERS ON TAX EVASION

"Poor countries lose $160 billion annually to corporate tax dodging".

This is a statement made by the international confederation, Oxfam, urging G20 leaders to take action to fix a tax system that allows international, mostly Western, firms from "ripping off" the African continent.

In a recent publication, Oxfam details how tax evasion further entrenches poverty and weakens developing economies in Africa.

They have urged G20 leaders, who will begin their summit in St Petersburg on Wednesday, to rewrite international tax laws.

In June, leaders of the G8 met in Northern Ireland with transparency in land deals and taxation on the agenda and Oxfam are calling for taxation to now be readdressed.

The amount of tax that international firms dodge is approximately half the amount that sub-Saharan Africa spends on health budgets and according to Oxfam's report, for every $1 billion drained out of developing countries, 11 million people across Africa's Sahel region are robbed of desperately needed food, the annual salaries of 400 000 midwives could be paid, and 200 million mosquito nets could be purchased.

SUDAN LIFTS ITS THREAT TO CUT OFF SOUTH SUDAN'S OIL EXPORTS

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has withdrawn his threat to cut off the country's pipelines from their oil exporting neighbours, South Sudan.

In a decision announced on Tuesday, al-Bashir stated that he and his South Sudanese counterpart, Salva Kiir, had made an agreement to continue the flow of the South's oil through Sudan's pipelines.

After agreeing to reopen Sudan's borders in September 2012, which has not yet been done, al-Bashir then ordered the closing of the pipelines in the seesaw relationship with Sudan and the newly independent South Sudan, which took three quarters of Sudanese oil production with it.

However, the two nations have announced yet again that they will work towards building relations that will achieve common interests for both.