NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 20 – President Uhuru Kenyatta will not attend the 68th United Nations General Assembly because his Deputy William Ruto is away, State House announced late Friday.
The Statement issued by Uhuru’s Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Macharia Kamau has already informed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
“Kenya’s decision was contained in a Note Verbal (diplomatic message),” the State House statement said, quoting the letter sent out to the UN boss, “Whereas very important multilateral and bilateral meetings had been planned for President Kenyatta during the week, including a speech to the General Assembly, we very much regret that he cannot be out of the country at the same time as the Deputy President.”
The statement indicated that the main reason of missing the meeting, the first time in 50 years, was because Ruto is in The Hague where he is standing trial for Crimes Against Humanity Charges.
“The President and Deputy President have cooperated fully with the
International Criminal Court thus far,” it said, adding “The Deputy President presented himself to The Hague court on his own free will and has submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court. Kenya expects the ICC to show the same level of cooperation thus demonstrated with a state party.
In the Note Verbal, State House said, Kenya informed the UN Secretary-General that “the political space for continuous cooperation was rapidly being eroded and the country was weary that the dire consequences of these developments seemed to be lost on the ICC interlocutors.”
“Owing to these developments, Kenya will for the first time since our independence 50 years ago, not be represented at a political level during the High Level Week of the United Nations General Assembly that the President was scheduled to attend from 23rd to 27th September 2013,” the State House statement said.
It also indicated that President Uhuru Kenyatta has summoned the Kenyan Ambassador/Permanent Representative, Mr Macharia Kamau, back to Nairobi for consultation.
The President, also charged for crimes against humanity by The Hague-based court, is set to stand trial in November.
His deputy who is charged alongside journalist Joshua arap Sang have both denied charges in the ongoing trial.