Kalonzo winds up ICC shuttle diplomacy

March 27, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka wound up his special mission on the ICC cases with a briefing to AU Chairman, President Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea and President Ali Bongo of Gabon which is a member of the UN Security Council.

Speaking on Saturday at the Wilson Airport, on arrival from the two-day mission to the West African Nations, Mr Musyoka who was accompanied by Minister Njeru Githae and Assistant Minister Wilfred Ombui said Kenya now awaits  the decision of the UN Security Council, but expressed confidence that the Post Election Violence cases would be heard in the country.
“As a government we are following a two-pronged approach through either deferral under Article 16 or referral under article 19 of the Rome Statute and we are optimistic that the cases would be heard under a local mechanism,” he said.

Mr Musyoka said it was important to brief the AU chairman because Kenya has presented to the UN Security Council the resolution of the AU Heads of State and Government Summit endorsing the country’s request.  

He said both Presidents Nguema and Bongo were categorical that Kenya should be supported to start a local mechanism to try the perpetrators of the PEV while the ICC retained its complementary role of a court last resort.

The Vice President welcomed the decision by the ODM faction to support to local trials saying that it was necessary for the country to speak in one voice.

Mr Musyoka said Kenya requested the two countries to make follow ups on the issues that are under their respective purview regarding the Kenyan issue.

Minister Githae said, following the diplomatic push spearheaded by the Vice President, it had become clear that the ICC risked a massive walkout by African States unless it listened to Kenya.

African countries, he added, were demanding respect for their sovereignty and dignity from the international community.

“The international community can only ignore recommendations and feelings from Africa at their own risk,” he stressed.

Mr Githae defended the special mission saying that it was aimed at reclaiming Kenya’s dignity and sovereignty among the community of nations.

At the same time, Mr Githae expressed hope that the change of heart by ODM on local trials was genuine.


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