News / Africa

    UN Security Council Rejects Delay of Kenyatta, Ruto Trials

    Deputy Kenyan President William Ruto addresses the media at a news conference at the Movenpick Hotel in The Hague, Oct. 15, 2013.
    Deputy Kenyan President William Ruto addresses the media at a news conference at the Movenpick Hotel in The Hague, Oct. 15, 2013.
    Larry Freund
    The United Nations Security Council on Friday rejected a resolution that would have delayed the International Criminal Court trials of Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, and his deputy, William Ruto.  
     
    Only seven of the 15 members of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution - two votes short of the required nine. The remaining eight members of the Council abstained.

    Kenyatta and Ruto are both accused of crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in the violence after Kenya’s 2007 election that left more than 1,100 people dead. Both men have denied the charges.

    The trial of Kenyatta before the International Criminal Court in The Hague was originally set to begin earlier this week but was postponed until February 5.

    The resolution to delay the trial for a year had been pressed by the African Union and was brought to a vote despite the wide expectation that it would fall short of the required nine “yes” votes. African diplomats said they had been hoping against hope that they would find the additional two votes to gain approval.

    Kenya’s representative at the United Nations, Macharia Kamau, was blunt in expressing his disappointment. “The deferral has not been granted. Africa’s request through abstaining votes cast by certain members in this council has been turned down. Reason and the law have been thrown out the window, fear and distrust have been allowed to prevail. Africa is disappointed and we regret this very much.”

    Rwanda was one of three African members of the Security Council voting for the deferral resolution - the other two were Togo and Morocco.

    Supporters of the resolution argued that Kenya's leaders are needed at home to fight the threat of terrorism, especially after the al-Shabab attack on a Nairobi mall that killed more than 60 civilians.

    Rwanda’s ambassador, Eugene Gasana, said, “His excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and the deputy president, William Ruto, should be respected, supported, empowered, not distrusted and undermined in this time. That is why, after this morning’s vote, Rwanda expresses its deep disappointment.”

    Representatives of the eight nations abstaining in the Security Council vote argued that the rule permitting a trial delay relates to matters of international peace and security. They said that does not apply in this case. They also held out the hope for continued discussion of the trial during a meeting next week of countries that are parties to the International Criminal Court.

    Among the abstainers in Friday's vote was the United States, represented by Ambassador Samantha Power. “The families of the victims of the 2008 post-election violence in Kenya have already waited more than five years for a judicial weighing of the evidence to commence. We believe that justice for the victims of that violence is critical to the country’s long-term peace and security. It is incumbent on us all to support accountability for those responsible for crimes against humanity,” she said.

    Guatemala’s representative, Gert Rosenthal - who also abstained - told the Security Council that the progress in building a partnership between the Council and the African Union was compromised by the vote.

    Perhaps the damage is not irreversible, he added, but clearly there was a misunderstanding and both sides were unable to reverse what he called “the regrettable outcome.”

    You May Like

    Ethiopia's Anti-terrorism Law: Security or Silencing Dissent?

    Yonatan Tesfaye was detained in December 2015 on charges under Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; eleven statements from his Facebook page were used as evidence

    Egypt Orders Trial for Journalists Charged With Harboring Reporters

    Order targets journalists' union chief Yehia Qalash, Khaled al-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahim for allegedly spreading false news, harboring fugitive colleagues

    Nigerian Oil Production Falls as Militant Attacks Take Toll

    Country no longer Africa's petroleum king due to renewed militancy in its oil-producing region

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Lebeaukitoko from: Kinshasa
    November 17, 2013 10:29 AM
    A shame for rwandan president. Has Kagamé made a comment on this resolution about kenyan - ICC?

    by: charles zondo
    November 16, 2013 11:59 PM
    So much wisdom, redemption ?

    Much like Zimbabwe, make your call.

    by: kabz from: Africa
    November 16, 2013 7:13 PM
    USA has seen African leaders wisdom not to be primitive that they cannot solve they're own problems.

    by: Carlos from: Nairobi
    November 16, 2013 3:03 PM
    No one knows when the hour of Africa's Redemption cometh. It is in the wind. It is coming. One day like a storm, it will be here. When that day comes all Africa will stand together.
    Marcus Garvey (17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940)

    by: kaizeri from: nairobi
    November 15, 2013 4:18 PM
    Does justice really exist.its easy said than done.wasn't surprised at all about us,UK and France posiition in this case.they claim,justice should prevail claim the three people committed crimes against humanity,have these powers forgotten the crimes they committed against Africans in the colonial n post colonial era.excuse me,they are nothing but hypocrites.

    by: Benjamin kilonzi from: kitui
    November 15, 2013 2:06 PM
    These people are playing with kenyan let the hearing proceed to get the truth because many people are crying and they have waited for long to get justice.
    AU they dont know how kenyan lost their properties and their beloved ones,when former VP of kenya went all over the world seeiking surport for this case to be done here in kenya,where was AU that time?
    So,AU keep off and let ICC to do his duty and everybody carry his/own cross.
    In Response

    by: Hassan from: Ethiopia
    November 16, 2013 7:23 PM
    Stop been a home guard still use by western to be false accuser of your brother.. Deal with your brother in your own mechanism than selling them to slave masters. All they want is to divide u and exploit u.
    In Response

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    November 16, 2013 2:52 AM
    The issue is not punishing the war criminals whoever they are but the fundamental real issue is the behaviour of ICC towards black African leaders. It’s completely clear now that ICC considers that exclusively all black African leaders as potential war criminals. There are plenty of leaders out there who mercilessly gassed their own people; women, children and elderlies. Those leaders, with the help of Westerns, did get away with these heinous crimes. Understandably no outcry from ICC.
    Laurent Gbagbo, former president of Ivory Coast, was detained under dubious allegations. ICC throws him to Guantanamo Bay look-like detention at Hague. More than two years have passed no charges and no convictions yet. ICC seems in no hurry to bring Mr. Gbagbo to court, what they interested is only to continue humiliating him and for others to see that.
    Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto were recently elected to office by the good people of Kenya. Both men need to deal with pressing issues such as economic, terrorism, refugees and so on. What ICC wants is to humiliate and prevent them from serving their people. Uhuru and William need not to cooperate with ICC.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora