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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs