News / Africa

AU Presses Kenyatta ICC Deferral Request

Before departing for AU summit in Addis Ababa, Kenyan President Kenyatta, left, with Deputy President Ruto, Nairobi, Kenya, Oct. 12, 2013.
Before departing for AU summit in Addis Ababa, Kenyan President Kenyatta, left, with Deputy President Ruto, Nairobi, Kenya, Oct. 12, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
The African Union is pushing ahead with its bid for a one-year deferral of International Criminal Court charges against Kenya’s president and deputy president, saying it will move for a resolution in the U.N. Security Council.
 
A delegation of African foreign ministers met with the U.N. Security Council for informal discussions Thursday, seeking a deferral of the charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto.
 
The two men are charged with instigating post-election violence in 2007 and 2008 that killed more than 1,100 people and displaced more than half a million others.
 
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who led the delegation, said the deferral is necessary because of concerns that Kenya could become destabilized if its leaders are away at trial and not focused on domestic matters.
 
“The situation in our corner of the world is not just a threat for that region, but it is for the international community, also," he said. "So we are asking the deferral because this is a serious threat to international peace and security in addition to our region, and we should prevent any havoc from happening in Kenya, because we don’t need another destabilized country in that part of the world.”
 
The Hague-based ICC announced Thursday that it has agreed to a three-month postponement to the start of President Kenyatta’s trial, which had been due to begin November 12. It will now start on February 5.
 
The U.N. Security Council has the power to issue what is known as an Article 16 deferral for ICC cases, but such a decision would require the agreement of all 15 Council members, and diplomats say members are currently divided on the issue. The Council has twice before declined to give a formal answer to the Africans when they sought a deferral in 2011 and then a termination of the Kenyan case in May.
 
The Ethiopian foreign minister said a one-year deferral would give the Africans time so they could engage with the Assembly of States Parties — the body that oversees the ICC — as well as with the Security Council in order to reach a solution.
 
He said they will soon put forward a resolution in the Security Council seeking the deferral.
 
Richard Dicker, International Justice Program director for Human Rights Watch, thinks the Council will likely reject the African request, fearful of creating what he called a “dangerous precedent." He also expressed concern about what could happen to witnesses who have been harassed.
 
“I think a number of Council members know full well that a delay for a year could be tantamount to a dismissal of the cases, given the intensive witness intimidation that has been going on against witnesses and the Kenyan authorities’ need to cease and desist on immediately.”
 
Dicker said he thinks it is important that the Security Council give the African Union a proper response this time, whether it is one they want to hear or not.

You May Like

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 M by 2015

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: LOMOL AJIE from: ARUSHA-TANZANIA
November 10, 2013 10:28 PM
we forget so fast, let the leaders clear their names first! when will african leaders account for their misdeeds! although am sure that if these two are innocent, they have nothing to fear!


by: Justice Mhlongo
November 01, 2013 12:16 AM
No great surprise, "kill it with time" much like other scenarios in Africa where thousands of people have been killed and the UN and ICC remain silent, circumventing justice.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'i
X
Scott Stearns
September 23, 2014 10:52 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video US, Gulf Allies Strike Islamic State Militants in Syria

United States forces have carried out strikes against Islamic State or ISIL militant positions in Syria - the first time Western forces have taken action on Syrian soil. Five U.S. allies from the Gulf joined the military action. Local reports suggest dozens of militants were killed. The U.S. also carried out unilateral missile strikes against a Syria-based terror group which Washington says poses an imminent threat to the West. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Used to Kill Cancer Tumor

There is a new way of killing certain cancer tumors that allows the patient to go home on the same day. Surgeons at the Keck Medical Center of the University of Southern California became the first doctors to use this procedure on a patient with the help of high intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU, and new robotic technology. Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in Five Countries

Hollywood stars Alicia Keys, Jennifer Garner and 30 others have voiced their support for a U.S.-backed initiative called "Let Girls Learn." The $231 million program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is aimed at ensuring public and quality education for girls worldwide. As VOA's Mariama Diallo reports, this new program will focus on five countries in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Video

Video UN: Relocation of Bedouins in Israel Weakens Two-state Solution

Rural Bedouins living in disputed lands east of Jerusalem could soon find themselves forcibly relocated. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Jerusalem that while Israel defends the move as in the Bedouins’ best interests, the United Nations says the plan threatens the survival of the two-state solution with Palestinians.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Prolonged Drought Plagues SW Oklahoma Farmers

Parts of western Texas and southwestern Oklahoma have been in drought conditions for several years running and the deficit in rainfall has taken a heavy toll on cotton and grain production. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says the state has suffered $2 billion in agricultural losses since 2011. There has been rain in recent weeks, but, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Altus, Oklahoma, for most farmers it has been too late.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid