News / Africa

Reports: Kenya Seeks African Support for ICC Withdrawal

International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, left, former U.N. chief Kofi Annan, center, and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, right, walk outside Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, Dec 2, 2010
International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, left, former U.N. chief Kofi Annan, center, and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, right, walk outside Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, Dec 2, 2010
Michael Onyiego

The campaign to remove Kenya from the International Criminal Court appears to be gathering steam as the east African nation looks to rally diplomatic support across Africa.
Members of Kenya’s cabinet are currently crossing the continent to gain African Union support for withdrawal from the court, the country’s major news outlets are reporting Wednesday.

Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper and Capital FM radio station have reported that Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka is in South Africa Wednesday to discuss withdrawal with President Jacob Zuma. The vice president is expected to visit Uganda on Thursday to push for further support from President Yoweri Museveni.

While news of the government-wide push contradicts past statements by Kenyan leaders, the Director for the Nairobi-based International Center for Policy and Conflict, Ndungu Wainaina, doubts whether the current coalition government ever actually supported the court.

“The war against ICC in Kenya is deeper than what it seems on the face," said Wainaina. "Despite the various public statements by individual members, individual cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister, we have not seen a collective government position since this new war against the ICC began.”

It has been less than a month since International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced six suspects are to face judges in The Hague for their roles in Kenya’s post-election violence three years ago. The list, which confirmed speculation involving prominent politicians, such as Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and presidential hopeful William Ruto, also contained surprises, like civil servant Francis Muthaura and journalist Joshua arap Sang.

The past month has seen the Kenyan Parliament introduce a motion to withdraw from the court, along with accusations of “western imperialism” and anti-African bias.

Since the announcement of the “Hague Six,” support for local investigations into the 2007-2008 violence has grown. The Kenyan cabinet held a meeting Wednesday to discuss alternatives to the international court and President Mwai Kibaki has publicly voiced support for local trials. A Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission was established in 2009 to try suspects, but the groups work was permanently stalled by an ethics scandal surrounding its chairman.

ICPC Director Wainaina told VOA that no other local tribunal was likely to succeed in Kenya. “The Kenyan government has never set up a credible and tested witness protection mechanism. Because that is a precondition in terms of being able to carry out successful prosecutions and a fair trial for that matter.”

If the government’s African lobbying efforts are successful, the AU summit to take place on January 30 and January 31 in Ethiopia could produce a continent-wide blessing for Kenya’s rejection of the court. The regional body has, in the past, been at odds with the judges in The Hague.

In 2009 the AU called for a deferment of the arrest warrants issued for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. The body subsequently refused to recognize the warrants when the request was denied. Bashir was indicted by the court in 2008 for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, allegedly committed during the conflict in Darfur.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid