Fresh shuttle diplomacy on ICC

March 4, 2011 12:00 am



NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4 – The government\’s shuttle diplomacy for a deferral of the Kenya case at the International Criminal Court is now being taken to the door of nations that sit on UN Security Council.


On Friday, President Mwai Kibaki said he had appointed Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka to lead the special mission.


The other envoys are Cabinet Ministers Njeru Githae, Sally Kosgei, Hellen Sambili, Chirau Ali Mwakwere, George Saitoti and assistant minister Richard Onyonka.


"Kenya is set to begin the second phase of lobbying among members of the United Nations Security Council, for the deferment of the Hague process.  In this regard, President Mwai Kibaki has nominated special envoys to lobby the member states to defer the Hague process for a period of one year," a statement from the President\’s Press Service said.


Capital News has learnt that Mr Musyoka travels to New York on Sunday afternoon for a meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Tuesday.


Agriculture Minister Sally Kosgei is being sent to Brazil on a similar mission.  Brazil is one of the 10 non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, and the South American nation\’s two-year term on the council ends this year.


Ms Kosgei has recently broken ranks with Prime Minister Raila Odinga and spent Thursday in Eldoret with the VP at the Agricultural Society of Kenya show.  She is expected to join Mr Musyoka in New York later next week.


It\’s also understood that Trade Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere has already left the country for his diplomatic mission that will take him to Bosnia and Herzegovina which is also a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, with a term ending this year.


Mr Mwakwere\’s mission will also take him to Portugal, another non-permanent council member whose term ends next year.


The United Nations Security Council is composed of five permanent members that include China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.  Each of these countries has the power to veto any substantive resolution.


So far, China has used its veto six times, France 18 times, the UK 32 times, the US 82 times and Russia 123 times.


The 10 non-permanent members are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Portugal, Brazil, India, South Africa, Colombia, Lebanon, Gabon and Nigeria.


Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka told Capital News in a recent interview that Kenya already had the backing of the council\’s three non-permanent members from Africa.


But more significantly, he said, Kenya had the support of China which has assumed the presidency of the UN Security Council this month.  The presidency will be held by Colombia next month.


At the time he said was also exploring the possibility of directly approaching the ICC but only as a last resort because the process through which the court named the six Kenyan suspects was faulty.


"It would mean that we have wholeheartedly embraced the ICC approach which is flawed and that will mean that once we are caught up in that web then we cannot leave the ICC. The option of deferral therefore becomes more difficult," he argued at the time.


The American ambassador in Nairobi Michael Ranneberger has expressly stated that the US will not support a deferral Motion.


The UK High Commissioner to Kenya Rob Macaire has also expressed Britain\’s objection to a deferral saying impunity must not be allowed to continue thriving in Kenya.


The two envoys said Kenya had not shown a firm commitment to deal with the perpetrators of the 2008-post election violence and stressed there was need to hold people in leadership accountable for their actions.


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