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

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs