News / Africa

Kenya Wins African Support to Defer ICC Prosecutions

Several African countries are backing Kenya’s bid to have the International Criminal Court suspend prosecutions of six prominent figures accused of fomenting post 2007 election violence. A resolution of support is expected to win approval at next week’s African Union summit.

Kenya’s Vice-president Kalonzo Musyoka stopped in Addis Ababa Friday at the end of a whirlwind tour of African capitals. He is seeking support for a deferral of ICC cases against Kenya’s so-called “Ocampo Six”.

The six, most of them prominent politicians, were summoned to The Hague last month by ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo to face charges of masterminding the ethnic violence that left more than 1,000 people dead following Kenya’s 2007 elections. The ICC judges accepted Moreno Ocampo’s request to prosecute the case after he argued last year that crimes against humanity had been committed.

But Vice President Musyoka  contends that the ICC is meant to be a ‘court of last resort’. He says the ICC decision to take up the case is a challenge to Kenya’s authority.

"An indictment by the ICC carries with it a certain stigma, a lot of stigma, and gives the impression that a country is in the category of a failed state. Kenya is not in that category," said Vice-president Musyoka. "That is why we are making every effort to get our country back. We have to deal with this ICC challenge."

Musyoka’s schedule in Ethiopia included talks with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and African Union Commission Chairman Jean Ping. His earlier stops included South Africa, Gabon and Nigeria, the three current African representatives on the UN Security Council. He said everyone he has talked to seems to agree that Kenya’s case merits consideration.

Officials say next week’s African Union summit is likely to approve a resolution urging the Security Council to order suspension of the Kenyan prosecutions. But Musyoka notes that a similar request in the case of the genocide charges against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir fell on deaf ears.

"It is to be recalled in the case of Sudan,"said Musyoka. "African Union put a request to the UN Security Council to be able to ask the ICC to defer the matter of indictment of President Bashir, and to date both the ICC and UN Security Council have not come back to Africa with a yes or no."

Musyoka strongly denied reports that Kenya is seeking support for a mass African withdrawal from the ICC to protest what some see as western imperialism and anti-African bias. He says the Nairobi government values its status as an ICC member in good standing.

"We’re not considering withdrawing from ICC, although our parliament in December passed a motion, carried unanimously, calling on the government to consider withdrawal from the ICC," he said. "But the government led by Kibaki has not addressed this matter."

Among the six facing ICC prosecution are Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and civil service chief Francis Muthaura,  who is considered to be President Mwai Kibaki’s most influential adviser.

President Kibaki has publicly voiced support for local trials for the accused, and Kenya’s cabinet met earlier this month to discuss possible alternatives to the international court. A Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission was established in 2009 to try the accused, but the commission’s work stalled after its chairman was engulfed in an ethics scandal.

You May Like

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid