UN Security Council to meet on Kenya ICC case

March 12, 2011 12:00 am

, UN, March 12 – The UN Security Council will hold talks next week on Kenya\’s request to suspend an international crimes against humanity case against six top Kenyan officials.

Kenya made an official request for a hearing on the summons issued this week against senior allies of President Mwai Kibaki and his rival Raila Odinga, over the deaths of up to 1,500 people in unrest after a disputed presidential election in 2007.

Li Baodong, the Chinese ambassador to the UN and council president for March, said an "interactive dialogue" on the case would be held next Wednesday with Kenya and officials from the African Union taking part.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka held meetings in New York this week with UN chief Ban Ki-moon and top Security Council envoys to demand the suspension of the International Criminal Court (ICC) case.

Kenya wants the six men to be handled by Kenyan courts, diplomats said.

The Security Council can issue a one-year suspension if there is a threat to international peace and security. The council\’s western powers — Britain, France and the United States — say they do not believe a suspension is needed.

The ICC ordered the six men to appear before the court April 7 on charges they masterminded the post-election violence.

Those required to appear at the Hague include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of the Civil Service Ambassador Francis Muthaura, suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto and Tinderet Member of Parliament Henry Kosgey who stepped aside to face charges of abuse of office.

Others are former Police Commissioner Mohammed Hussein Ali and Radio presenter Joshua arap Sang.

The suspects were named be ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo in December accusing them of orchestrating violence that followed the disputed 2007 presidential election.

Besides sending the VP as a special envoy President Mwai Kibaki has also written plans to the ICC President of State parties asking fro the deferral to have the country deal with the violence. The deferral motion was backed by the African Union but opposed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga

The Security Council cannot halt ICC proceedings though it has the power to suspend them for up to 12 months.

The country has failed in two successive attempts to establish a local tribunal to try the suspects.

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