News / Africa

    Kenya Senator Urges Ratification of AU Decision on International Criminal Court

    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.
    Peter Clottey
    A Kenyan senator has called on the majority leader this week to introduce a measure to ratify a decision by the African Union seeking to defer the trial of President Uhuru Kenyatta at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

    Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, who formally kicked off the crusade for the country to withdraw from the court, says Kenyans overwhelmingly support the right of the president to refuse to appear before the Hague-based ICC.

    “Kenya will like to use its institutions to ratify a regional decision, and considering the fact that in the past, we have had a motion about pulling out of the ICC, it will be in order for the majority leader of the senate to introduce a motion to facilitate a process of ratification of the AU decision,” said Murkomen.

    At a two-day summit in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, the African leaders agreed that Kenyatta should not attend the trial if the U.N. Security Council does not agree to delay the proceedings.

    Foreign ministers of the continental body had also agreed that current heads of state should not be tried by the Hague-based court.

    “The decision of the AU was critical in the sense that the next 10 to 20 days when the Security Council will consider that decision, will redefine, basically, international law, Africa’s relations with the International Criminal Court, and basically the future working relationship between Africa and other UN institutions,” said Murkomen.

     The ICC accuses Kenya’s President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto of playing a key role in the country’s 2007-2008 post-election violence that left at least 1,300 people dead and tens of thousands displaced from their homes. Broadcaster Arap Sang also faces similar charges at the court.
                         
    “If the Security Council is not able to work with us, we [should] mobilize the rest of the nation to ensure that our president does not travel to the ICC,” said Murkomen.

    Critics say the court only targets Africans, but remains oblivious to atrocities, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in other parts of the world. The ICC denies the accusation.

    Kenya’s parliament plans to introduce a measure enabling the East African nation to pull out of the Rome Statute, which established the court.

    Murkomen says there are strong indications the measure will be approved by the legislature.                

    “In the last motion to pull out of the ICC, we had overwhelming support [and] there is no reason why we shouldn’t get similar support for this motion,” said Murkomen. “Even if [Kenyatta] doesn’t sign it, there is a procedure in the constitution to return it back to parliament, and if we pass it for the second time, it will automatically become law.”

    The president may have his personal view as an individual,” said Murkomen, “but we are here to always remind him that he is a property of the nation.”
    Clottey interview with Kipchumba Murkomen, Kenyan Senator
    Clottey interview with Kipchumba Murkomen, Kenyan Senatori
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    US Watching as North Korea Opens Biggest Political Meeting in Decades

    As Workers' Party Congress opens, Washington anticipating possibility of another missile launch or nuclear test as top officials gather

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Warui from: Nairobi kenya
    October 13, 2013 9:38 PM
    ICC is neo-colonialism. How superior are European than blacks of the "dark continent" as they call us?

    by: Diakite from: China
    October 13, 2013 7:56 PM
    It's pitful to see whole continent like a turtle cleared from its carapace. I'm not against jailing of war criminals, but the unfair judgement. Taylor is now condemned for the crimes committed in Sierra-Leone. But those richmen who supported him continue financing other wars everywhere there are important natural ressources. "Red Diamond"
    ICC is likely to be a political tool of powful countries and their richmen.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora