News / Africa

Rwanda Seeks to Address ICC During Kenyan Leaders’ Trial

FILE - Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, Oct. 26, 2011.
FILE - Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, Oct. 26, 2011.
Peter Clottey
Rwanda has asked the International Criminal Court to let it address the court in the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.

“What we have done basically is to request the court to allow [us] to address it as a non-member of the Rome Statute, because we are not members of the Rome Statute,” said Rwanda’s Attorney General and minister of Justice, Busingye Johnston. “We think we can be of use to the court in terms of the interpretation of certain aspects regarding scheduling and the approach of the court to the planning and scheduling of matters.”

Judges at the ICC have yet to decide on Rwanda’s petition.

Rwanda is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, which established the Hague-based court.

Some analysts say Kigali’s ICC petition could signal President Paul Kagame administration’s intension to become a signatory to the Rome Statute or of becoming a member of the ICC. But, Johnston disagreed.

“No. We are not planning to become a member of the Rome Statute that’s not the case,” said Johnston. “We have requested as non-members of the Rome Statute, which we think is allowed. So, we are not planning to sign up to the Rome Statute.”

Some observers have questioned the timing of Rwanda’s request to address the court at the time when Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Ruto face the ICC over charges they played a key role in their country’s 2007-2998 post-election violence that left about 1,300 people dead. Johnston outlined the rationale behind Rwanda’s petition.

“The significance is that we want to address the court about our interpretation of certain articles in the Rome Statute with specific regard to the ongoing prosecution against the journalist, the deputy president and His Excellency [Kenyatta] the president of the republic of Kenya. So, it’s not just a coincidence. It’s in relation to that particular case,” said Johnston.

Johnston says if the approval is given, Rwanda would want to talk to the court about the impact of the timing of the trial of both Kenyan leaders.

“It is generally on the issues around scheduling, for example, if you have two high-ranking government officials attending a court, would you want to have both of them at the same time out of their countries when they also at work back home at their own country?” said Johnston.

The ICC accuses Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta of human rights abuses through involvement in Kenya’s 2007-2008 post-election violence that left about 1,300 dead and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes. Former radio host Joshua Arap Sang, is also accused of involvement in the violence.
 
Johnston declined to speculate about the possible success of Rwanda’s petition to the ICC.
         
“Honestly, my guess is as good as yours,” said Johnston. “Granting of the request is a complete reserve of the judges of the court. You can only make a request [and] that is what we have done.”
Clottey interview with Busingye Johnston, Rwanda attorney general
Clottey interview with Busingye Johnston, Rwanda attorney generali
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: GPS
September 12, 2013 10:15 AM
Whilst the Rwandan genocide was shocking, there are several Countries, that seems to have escaped the attention of the ICC at the Hague and the UN altogether. Could be interesting if this was challenged on these grounds by smart legal practitioners and this would highlight double standards.


by: Anonymous
September 11, 2013 11:50 PM
Wow almost a thousand years worth of post-election violence must be intense

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid