News / Africa

AU Requests ICC Allow for Kenya to Try Kenyatta

Closing session of the African Union's 21st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States and Government, Addis Ababa, May 27, 2013.
Closing session of the African Union's 21st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States and Government, Addis Ababa, May 27, 2013.
Gabe Joselow
— African heads of state meeting at Monday's African Union summit approved a proposal requesting that International Criminal Court cases against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto be tried in the East African nation's own courts.
 
Kenyatta and Ruto are facing separate charges of orchestrating inter-ethnic violence across the country in the wake of 2007 elections. More than 1,100 people were killed.
 
The request, first submitted by African foreign ministers ahead of the summit, has been approved by the AU executive council.
 
Addressing media, AU chairperson and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the ICC process, which was meant to punish leaders for atrocities and ill governance, unfairly targets Africans.
 
Combination picture shows Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta, who was finance minister, and William Ruto, former Higher Education Minister at the International Criminal Court, The Hague, April 2011.Combination picture shows Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta, who was finance minister, and William Ruto, former Higher Education Minister at the International Criminal Court, The Hague, April 2011.
x
Combination picture shows Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta, who was finance minister, and William Ruto, former Higher Education Minister at the International Criminal Court, The Hague, April 2011.
Combination picture shows Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta, who was finance minister, and William Ruto, former Higher Education Minister at the International Criminal Court, The Hague, April 2011.
"Rather than an objective of taking care of those crimes as well as impunities,” he said, "now the process has degenerated into some kind of race hunting."
 
AU Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said the ICC should be a court of “last resort” and that Kenya’s newly reformed judiciary is capable of trying the case.
 
Nairobi-based human rights lawyer Harun Ndubi disagrees that Kenya is ready to handle the trials, and says not enough attention has been paid to the victims of the violence.
 
"The African Union has not said anything in sympathy or empathy with the victims, except to say they want the cases to come back to Kenya when there is no existing mechanism for dealing with the post-election violence against the suspects," he said.
 
Emergency intervention force

The AU assembly also agreed to establish an emergency intervention force to quell conflicts across the continent.
 
AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra said the new force is meant as an “interim measure” until the long-planned African Standby Force is fully operational.
 
"Crises, unconstitutional changes of governments, massive violations of human rights are likely to happen here and there," he said. "So, from a responsible point of view, we cannot wait until we get a perfect tool to be used.”
 
The commissioner said Ethiopia, South Africa and Uganda have already pledged troops to the new force.
 
The AU assembly also considered a report on regional crises, including the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo between the M23 rebel movement and government forces.
 
Members of the Great Lakes region met on the sidelines of the summit to discuss the implementation of an agreement signed in February aimed at ending the violence.
 
In his closing remarks, Hailemariam said "unconstitutional changes of government continues to be a challenge," noting specifically crises in Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau and Niger.
 
"While noting the importance of looking for political solutions to these problems, I have no doubt that the non-acceptance of unconstitutional changes of governance will remain our firm position," he said.
 
The AU summit follows a weekend of events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the organization that would become the modern AU.
 
The body is now considering a development agenda for the next 50 years, a plan known as Vision 2063.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wilf Tarquin from: SamoA
May 28, 2013 7:11 AM
Oppressive authoritarians supporting oppressive authoritarians.


by: Paul Gesimba from: Nairobi
May 28, 2013 6:30 AM
Well the AU should lobby more on setting a rapid deployment force to deal with terror groups like the Al shabaab In Somalia which has little regard for human rights and can even behead civilians in public .A rapid deployment with enough capacity and firepower can easily put the Al shabaab out of commission .Especially if it well funded and equipped .

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid