Kenya seeks support of Caribbean countries on ICC
NEW YORK, United States, Sep 28 — President Uhuru Kenyatta held bilateral meetings with leaders from two Caribbean nations to seek their support for Kenya’s push to amend a controversial International Criminal Court rule at the next Assembly of State Parties in November.
The President held meetings with the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne and the President of Guyana, David Granger.
In both meetings, President Kenyatta was assured of the support of Caribbean nations for Kenya’s interests on the international platform.
Kenya wants the Assembly of State Parties to revisit a rule which was introduced during its 12th session concerning testimony recanted by witnesses.
The controversial Rule 68 was adopted with an assurance that, just like any other legal instrument, it will not be applied retrospectively to the disadvantage of Kenyans facing cases at the ICC.
The rule has now been applied in the case facing Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang.
In both bilateral meetings, President Kenyatta and the other leaders resolved that Kenya will renew its historical links with Caribbean countries, that were not sustained after independence, to enhance trade and people relations.
It was a lively moment when Prime Minister Browne reminded President Kenyatta of the role played by the founding leader of Antigua and Barbuda, Vere Cornwall Bird, in Kenya’s independence struggle.
The deep links Kenya has had with Caribbean countries might be more than many Kenyans might know but some are worthy to be noted including the fact that Kenya’s former Chief Justice, Cecil H E Miller, was a native of Guyana.
The international legal team that defended founding President Jomo Kenyatta when he was jailed during the independence struggle was assembled by Jamaican lawyer Dudley Thompson.
During the meeting with Prime Minister Browne, President Kenyatta said Kenya and Antigua and Barbados will embark on improving their diplomatic relations.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed was given the task to work out the next course of action in charting new diplomatic relations between the two countries.
PM Brown assured Kenya that Antigua and Barbuda as well as its neighbours will stand with Kenya on the international stage.
“We have an opportunity to build on the foundations set by our founding leaders,” he said as he announced that Kenyans wishing to visit Antigua and Barbado will have visa free status.
“We promise you of the support of Antigua and Barbado as well as the whole of CARICOM countries,” he said.
The Caribbean Community and Common Market is an association that brings together the 15 countries in the caribbean and also has five other states that are associate members.
President Kenyatta on his part assured PM Browne that Antigua and Barbado can count on Kenya’s support in all spheres