, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 17 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has described his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a personal challenge which is not bigger than the issues facing the nation.
Speaking during a prayer session at the Faith Evangelistic Ministries on Sunday, Kenyatta stated that the charges he is facing, are minimal compared to what is affecting Kenyans.
He urged leaders to focus more on service delivery and not to be derailed by side issues.
“Some of us still have what I still refer to as personal challenges. But those challenges are actually very minimal in comparison with the challenges we have as a nation. Mine therefore is to ask that do not be derailed by personal challenges. Let us focus ourselves on delivering this nation, bringing prosperity to this nation and ensuring that we remove the scourge of hunger in this nation,” he said.
Following the UN Security Council vote, he exuded confidence that he will be vindicated during his trial at The Hague.
“And these are the things that we need to focus our minds on. These are the things I ask you to pray for us in leadership to be able to fulfill on behalf of 40 million Kenyans. The personal challenges are in the hands of God and we know what he does with those,” he said.
The UN Security Council on Friday rejected an African demand to suspend the International Criminal Court crimes against humanity trials of Kenya’s top two leaders, sparking a diplomatic storm.
The African resolution called on the Council to use its special powers to defer the trials of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy for one year.
The resolution however got only seven votes, two below the number needed to pass in the 15-member body.
Eight council nations, all ICC members or supporters including Britain, France and the United States, abstained to ensure the failure of the bid.
While the African Union expressed disappointment of the vote, the United States, Britain and France said that Africa’s push for the deferral of the Kenyan ICC cases should be put before the Assembly of States Parties due to start in The Hague on Wednesday.
Britain’s UN envoy Mark Lyall Grant said that the UK fully understood the desire to allow President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities and that they are engaged and prepared to address those concerns.
The envoy said that the UK did not think the United Nations Security Council was the right place to address Africa’s concerns, hence their abstention at the vote.
His sentiments were echoed by the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power who said that the concerns raised by Kenya regarding the ICC proceedings are best addressed within the framework of the Court and its Assembly of States Parties, and not through a deferral mandated by the Security Council.