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Kibaki meets diplomats over ICC bid

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15 – President Mwai Kibaki held discussions with 23 Kenyan envoys accredited to various parts of the globe, in a bid to have them rally the world to halt Hague trials of key leaders implicated in the post election violence.

The meeting at Harambee House came a day after the envoys were briefed on the government\’s resolution to seek a deferral of the ICC cases facing five government officials and a radio journalist.

Sources told Capital News the diplomats were briefed by experts on what it would take for Kenya to obtain a deferral of the ICC cases, the decision\’s implication to the suspects and options available for country.

The government has petitioned the United Nations Security Council for a request to defer the Kenya case at the ICC.

On Tuesday, a scanty statement from the President\’s office confirmed the President had met the envoys but did not mention the agenda.

"President Mwai Kibaki today (Tuesday) held consultations with 23 Kenyan envoys accredited to various parts of the world," the brief statement stated.

"The envoys are in the country for a series of meetings aimed at updating them on the progress the country is making in national and international endeavours," it added.

Sources however, said the meeting with the President was convened to strategise on what is required of the envoys in selling Kenya\’s idea in the respective countries they represent.

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The envoys were summoned to Nairobi last week to get a proper briefing of the government\’s agenda of a deferral which is threatening to divide the coalition government.

While Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka who has been shuttling from one African nation to another has publicly stated that his mission of rallying countries to support Kenya\’s deferral bid was sanctioned by President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga has dismissed it.

Mr Musyoka successfully managed to petition various nations to rally behind Kenya at the recently concluded African Union (AU) summit where Kenya\’s request was ratified.

This formed the ground for President Kibaki to write to the UN Security Council asking for a deferral of the cases facing the six individuals.

Three diplomats accredited to Kenya have separately warned the government against seeking a deferral of cases at the International Criminal Court saying it will be difficult to convince the United Nations Security Council to endorse it.

Dutch Ambassador to Kenya Laetitia van den Assum, said that the country would also have to prove to the Security Council that a local judicial mechanism equal to that of the ICC had been set up.

"If you go to the Security Council and ask them for a deferral, your only chance of being successful is when you are able to prove to the Council members that in Kenya there is a serious security threat. And that is not an issue at the moment; I hope one will not develop," Ms Assum said in an interview with Capital News last week.

British High Commissioner to Kenya Rob Macaire also maintained his stand against the deferral Motion saying Kenya should separate local politics from the processes of the ICC.

American Ambassador Michael Ranneberger has also hinted that the US may not support Kenya\’s request at the UN Security council.

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America is one of the five permanent members to the UN Security council with veto powers.

Other permanent members to the UN Security council are China, Russia and France. Each of these countries has the power to veto any substantive resolution. That means that if one of the five permanent members does not support Kenya\’s ICC deferral Motion, but the rest did, the whole application would be dismissed.

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

China has already indicated its intention to support Kenya\’s motion arguing that it is a sovereign state.

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