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

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

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