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

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 Million by January

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide 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.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid