AU Leaders tell President Uhuru Kenyatta to shun ICC trial

 Uhuru says his election was a rebuke to the court:The African Union on Saturday resolved that President Uhuru Kenyatta should not attend trial against him at the International Criminal Court as from November 12, 2013.

In a resolution communicated by AU’s Chair, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the leaders have also decided that no sitting African leader should be tried at any international court including ICC.

Desalegn told reports after an extraordinary meeting in Addis Ababa that the decision to have President Kenyatta not attend trial against him was reached unanimously by all states including Botswana that had opposed a plan to pull out all African states that are signatories to the Rome Statute.

The extraordinary meeting also decided to send five heads of state to present a special request to the ICC president seeking to postpone Uhuru’s trial before another attempt at a referral of the case to Kenya is initiated.

The AU chair also said their decision had been prompted by the Hague based court’s actions.

“ICC is working against itself by refusing to cooperate with Kenya and AU in the request for referral. In developed countries it is possible to run a government without the leaders, in Africa it is impossible. So if countries that are developed cannot allow their presidents to be tried while in office, what about Africa?” Desalegn asked emphasising that no African leader will stand trial while still in office.

Earlier in his address to heads of states and governments, Uhuru accused the ICC for disregarding and disrespecting the sovereignty of African states.

However, he said the tide could be changing.

“My Government’s decisive election must be seen as a categorical rebuke by the people of Kenya of those who wished to interfere with our internal affairs and infringe our sovereignty.”

Uhuru also faulted Western nations who he said, “Used prosecutions as ruses and bait to pressure Kenyan leadership into adopting, or renouncing various positions.”

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