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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More