Win for Africa as Kenya agenda enters ICC Assembly
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 20 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) Assembly of State Parties has agreed to discuss the African Union (AU) request against indicting a sitting President at The Hague, after the agenda item was hijacked by Britain and replaced by a new bid to have the trials conducted through video links.
This follows the protests that the British ploy raised and which rubbed Kenya’s government and the African Union delegation at the Assembly the wrong way.
Both Kenya and the AU felt that Britain’s proposal was just a gimmick to undermine the position of the AU.
Kenya had through the AU presented its request to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to have the trials deferred but this flopped after eight members abstained from voting.
The request only got seven nods, falling short of the required nine. In addition if any of the five permanent member states had vetoed the request, it would also have failed.
Among those that stayed away from the vote were Britain, France, the United States, Guatemala, South Korea, Australia, Argentina and Luxembourg.
However Russia, China, Rwanda, Morocco, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Togo voted yes.
The government wants the cases deferred because of security concerns and in view of the terror threats that Kenya continues to face.
However some of the countries that abstained from the vote argue that the proposal is just a show of impunity and that the victims of the post election violence, over which Kenyatta and Ruto are accused, have waited long enough.-capitalfm