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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid