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Kenya assembles team to meet UN Security Council

NAIROBI, Kenya, March 12 – The government has moved fast to assemble a team to convince the UN Security Council to support the suspension of an international crimes against humanity case against six top Kenyan officials at The Hague.

The move comes hours after the UN Security Council agreed to hold an "interactive dialogue" on the case next Wednesday with Kenya and officials from the African Union.

"Kenya\’s permanent representative to the United Nations Macharia Kamau will lead the delegation to meet the UN Security Council for the informal talks," said Vice president Kalonzo Musyoka upon arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Mr Musyoka who has been in New York to lobby the UN Security Council members to support the deferral welcomed their latest decision and attributed it to the success of his shuttle diplomacy.

He said at least 10 nations out of 15 permanent members have pledged to support a deferral while those opposed led by USA, UK and France are now open for talks.
"This is work under progress and the important thing is that the council has agreed to hold this conversation," he said.

The VP added that, "we will respect those who differ with us but I am sure they will respect us when we ask for dialogue on this matter."

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.

Britain and America who are part of the five permanent Members have expressed their reservation to the deferral motion, but Mr Musyoka said he made efforts to "deal with the two so that they can abstain from a possible vote."

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"I pushed the France permanent representative and he looked at me and could not answer," he added.

Li Baodong, the Chinese ambassador to the UN and council president for March, on Friday said an "interactive dialogue" on the case would be held next Wednesday with Kenya and officials from the African Union taking part.
Mr Musyoka had met the President earlier in the week alongside other members of the Security Council.

The Security Council can issue a one-year suspension if there is a threat to international peace and security. The ICC on Tuesday 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.

Nairobi Metropolitan Minister Njeru Githae who accompanied the Vice President in the meetings accused the ICC saying its decision to summon the six suspects was hurriedly done.

"When they heard of the success with the permanent representatives in New York they panicked and issued their judgment halfway. Normally the dissenting judgment should be issued together with the majority one but this one was issued later," claimed Mr Githae.

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