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Kenya date with UN likely next week

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 17 – The Kenyan deferral case against the trial of six post election violence suspects is now likely to come up for debate at the United Nations Security Council next week after it was postponed on Thursday.

Kenya’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Macharia Kamau told Capital News that the exact day has not yet been set.

“The matter did not come up today (Thursday),” he told Capital news.

Mr Kamau who will be leading the delegation said: “Kenya will make a case to continue its reforms and consolidate its national healing, peace and reconciliation.”

Kenya requested a postponement of Thursday’s informal meeting after the Head of Delegation consulted with the President of the UN Security Council – China’s Li Baodong.

The informal session in New York was expected to begin at 2am on Thursday and was to be attended by African Union officials who\’ve supported Kenya\’s bid to have the trials suspended for one year to allow a local trial.

But sources now say Kenya wants the issue elevated to a formal hearing by the UN Security Council and a postponement was sought to build more consensus first, among countries that are opposed to the deferral motion.

The deferral bid has been faced by different challenges from coalition partner Orange Democratic Movement, the civil society and the western countries.

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

Kenya has however received support from Russia and China among the permanent members and most of the other non permanent members.

ODM has already written to the UN Security Council opposing the deferral.

The deferral motion on Tuesday suffered another blow after civil society organisations presented 1.4 million signatures, against the move to three permanent members of the Security Council, who have always opposed the bid.

The lobbyists made their petition to the American, British and French governments as well as to the non-permanent Council members requesting them to turn down Kenya\’s application terming it a delaying tactic meant to sway next year\’s elections.

American Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger said that the deferral motion would promote impunity adding that the US would frustrate Kenya\’s appeal.

British High Commissioner to Kenya Rob Macaire further warned Kenya against using the Security Council as a means to shield itself from criminal responsibility.

The International Criminal Court has issued summons to Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura,  Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, and Former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali.

Others named by the Prosecutor and now summoned to present themselves at the Hague-based court include suspended Ministers Henry Kosgey and William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang.

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