, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 16 – Deputy President William Ruto has said that the UN Security Council’s vote of Africa’s demand to suspend the International Criminal Court trials of Kenya’s top two leaders was a clear indication of who the country’s true friends were.
Ruto stated that the outcome was not surprising and described it as inconsequential.
“What happened yesterday at UNSC is a clear testimony of who the true friends of Kenya were. It was expected and we are not surprised by the outcome. The resolution was a side issue,” he stated.
He however thanked nations that voted for the request and stated that their deed will not be forgotten.
“We are saying what happened yesterday is a clear testimony of genuine friends who can stand with us when it is shining or raining. We thank them for standing with us. We have a plan, we will work and endure any difficulties,” he said.
“We can now say we have genuine, legitimate and consistent friends. We can now work with them and the rest of the world to ensure there is peace in our region and country.”
Ruto who was accompanied by more than 40 MPs spoke at a thanksgiving ceremony for Bureti MP Leonard Sang, at Litein East School.
The African resolution called on the Council to use its special powers to defer the trials of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy for one year.
The resolution however got only seven votes, two below the number needed to pass in the 15-member body.
Eight council nations, all ICC members or supporters including Britain, France and the United States, abstained to ensure the failure of the bid.
While the African Union expressed disappointment of the vote, the United States, Britain and France said that Africa’s push for the deferral of the Kenyan ICC cases should be put before the Assembly of States Parties due to start in The Hague on Wednesday.
Britain’s UN envoy Mark Lyall Grant said that the UK fully understood the desire to allow President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities and that they are engaged and prepared to address those concerns.
The envoy said that the UK did not think the United Nations Security Council was the right place to address Africa’s concerns, hence their abstention at the vote.
His sentiments were echoed by the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power who said that the concerns raised by Kenya regarding the ICC proceedings are best addressed within the framework of the Court and its Assembly of States Parties, and not through a deferral mandated by the Security Council.