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AU Leaders Urge ICC to Defer Kenyan Trials

African leaders meeting in Ethiopia have called for the International Criminal Court to defer its trials for Kenya's leaders.

At an African Union summit on Saturday some heads of state expressed concerns that the world court is biased against African nations and unfairly targets Africans.

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn serves as the AU chairman. He urged the ICC to pay attention to the concerns raised by the 54-member AU.



"It should be underscored that our goal is not and should not be a crusade against the ICC, but a solemn call for the organization to take Africa's concerns seriously.



Mr. Desalegn said the ICC proceedings hampered Kenya's leaders from working on domestic issues.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta faces a November trial before the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in post-election violence in 2007 and 2008. His deputy, William Ruto, faces similar charges.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who is attending the summit in Addis Ababa, is wanted by the court for alleged war crimes and genocide in Darfur.

Among other cases before the ICC is the upcoming trial for former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbabgo, who faces charges of crimes against humanity.



On Friday, the AU endorsed a plan to add about 6,000 more troops to its mission in Somalia to help the nation fight al-Shabab militants.

The plan would raise the total number of troops in Somalia to almost 24,000. The proposal would have to be approved by the U.N. Security Council, which provides funding.

The request comes in the wake of a September mall siege in Nairobi that left more than 60 civilians dead. Al-Shabab militants claimed responsibility for the attack.

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