Kenyan ministers meet top ICC official

September 1, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, September 1 – The Cabinet sub-committee coordinating matters touching on the International Criminal Court has met with ICC registrar Salvana Arbia and her team to review the progress made in facilitating the court to carry out its mandate.

Internal Security Minister George Saitoti who chairs the committee said on Wednesday that the government had forwarded all the necessary documents to the ICC and even provided security to its officials and staff in the country.

He expressed the government\’s commitment to cooperate with ICC throughout all its investigations.

"The government has given the International Criminal Court at the Hague all the documents that they require in their investigations," the internal security minister told a news conference.

"We are also continuing to facilitate the court\’s staff with the necessary requirements they need to make their stay in the country comfortable," he said.

Speaking during the media briefing, Lands Minister James Orengo pointed out that the government had no choice but to comply with the court\’s decisions since it was a signatory to the Rome Statute.

"Compliance is compliance… we are fully obligated to comply and we will comply. We cannot assume that a warrant will be issued but if it is a requirement that we are suppose to carry out under the Rome Statute, then we definitely shall carry it out," he said.

He stated that the Cabinet sub-committee was established in April 2010 to coordinate the International Criminal Court matters.

He pointed out that the government received and facilitated ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo during his visit to sensitise the public and reach out to various section of the society.

During her four-day visit Ms Arbia will meet relevant national authorities to discuss the operational and legal framework needed to conduct registry activities in Kenya following the approval from the Pre-Trial Chamber to open an investigation following the 2008 post-election violence in Kenya.

She will also hold meetings with representatives of international and local organisations to discuss their support during the investigations expected to end this year.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula who is also a member of the ICC Cabinet sub-committee insisted that Kenya would continue to cooperate with the court as it carries out its investigations in the country.

Mr Wetangula also brushed off queries posed after the presence of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Kenya.

He said Kenya should be allowed to forge ahead and stop debating on who attended the promulgation ceremony of the Constitution.

"I think people should now start focusing on real issues and now who came to the promulgation," he said.

He also said he was not aware of Kenya being reported to the UN Security Council and also clarified that Kenya was an independent country that stood by its actions, the African Union\’s decision and was cautious on regional peace and stability.

Mr Wetangula was speaking after holding a closed door meeting with African ambassadors and high commissioners.

He said he briefed them on the implementation programme of the new Constitution and they pledged their support for Kenya during the processes.


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