Western states reject Kenya’s Hague bid at UN

May 24, 2013 8:42 am
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Kenyatta, Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang face crimes against humanity charges at The Hague/FILE
Kenyatta, Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang face crimes against humanity charges at The Hague/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 24 – The US and European nations have rejected Kenya’s plea to the United Nations Security Council to end cases before the International Criminal Court.

Envoys from the UN Security Council member-states and the US which supports the ICC, say it is only the court which can end the cases.

The request tabled by Kenya’s UN ambassador Macharia Kamau was however supported by Rwanda, China, Russia, Azerbaijan, Morocco and Pakistan.

Diplomats who spoke after a meeting on the matter in New York said the Security Council could ask for a one year suspension, but not a termination of the cases.

“There was a very firm response from ICC member states and the US that they must take their case to the court,” said one diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It still remains unclear who authorised Macharia to make the request to the UN Security Council after Attorney General Githu Muigai and Deputy President William Ruto distanced the government from it.

“The council has heard Kenya, it is difficult to see what it can do now,” said another diplomat.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is attending the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where the matter is likely to feature.

Kenyatta, Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang face crimes against humanity charges over violence after elections in late December 2007 in which more than 1,100 people died. All deny the charges and they are likely set to stand trial later this year.

Kenya’s UN ambassador has maintained his stance to have the cases terminated on grounds of the country’s security situation in case the trials proceed.

“We have asked that these proceedings be terminated as soon as possible,” he told journalists after a closed meeting with envoys from 15 nations in New York.

“How that will be done, by whom that will be done is yet to be determined, but clearly the proceedings need to end because they are not consistent with peace and justice in our country,” he added.

The trial of Kenyatta, who won an election in March, is currently scheduled to start in July. He has vowed to cooperate with the court while at the same time launching a fierce diplomatic campaign against the case.

Kenya was a founding member of the ICC and Kamau said the country was not trying to “circumvent” the charges.

“If the court itself were to decide to terminate these cases owing to the weak and the frail nature of the evidence, this in itself would be satisfactory,” the envoy added.

The Security Council is unlikely to intervene, however, diplomats said.

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