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UK won't support Kenya's quest

Discussion in 'Kenyan News and Politics' started by Mallaba, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Mallaba

    Mallaba JF-Expert Member

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    Feb 16, 2011
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    By Maore Ithula
    The United Kingdom will not vote for Kenya’s appeal to the United Nations Security Council[​IMG] to defer the trial of the ‘Ocampo Six’ at The Hague.
    British High Commissioner to Kenya, Rob Macaire, said instead of going through the African Union and now via the Security Council, Kenya should have directly lobbied the International Criminal Court (ICC) to defer the cases.
    Mr Macaire said: "The UN Security Council[​IMG] is mandated to ensure and maintain international peace and security. The Rome Statute, under which the ICC is established, stands for the same. Britain supports the court’s activities to ensure there is justice internationally."

    [​IMG]Standard Group Deputy Chairman and Chief Strategist, Paul Melly, welcomes British High Commissioner to Kenya, Rob Macaire, when he visited the Standard Group Centre, on Tuesday. Mr Macaire said his country would not back Kenya’s quest to defer its case at The Hague. [PHOTO: tabitha otwoli/STANDARD]
    He added: "For this matter, I do not expect my country to support any effort that will override the international court. Any move in that direction would mean we are interfering with the freedom of the court."


    Britain is the second permanent member of the Security Council to declare opposition to Kenya’s efforts after the US.
    There are five permanent members of the council with veto power including Russia, China and France.
    In the last three months, Kenya has been in a political spin since Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC chief prosecutor, named three prominent politicians, two civil servants, and a journalist, as prime suspects for chaos that nearly drove Kenya into civil strife.
    Concerned by standoff
    Speaking when he visited the Standard Group Centre along Mombasa Road, on Tuesday, the envoy also confirmed his Government was concerned by the standoff between President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga over the nominations to key constitutional offices.
    He said such incidences had potential to derail implementation of the Constitution, which he regretted was behind schedule.
    Macaire said: "Political leaders should shun politics of self-interest and espouse patriotism. If the Constitution is not implemented on time, and come 2012, we may witness a repeat of what happened in 2007."
     
  2. Mallaba

    Mallaba JF-Expert Member

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    Feb 16, 2011
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    Envoy: Kenya faces tall order to defer trials

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    The Dutch ambassador to Kenya Laetitia van den Assum has said Kenya's campaign to delay trials of suspected post-election violence masterminds at The Hague may prove futile February 15, 2011. FILE
    By EMEKA MAYAKA GEKARA, gmayaka@ke.nationmedia.com (email the author)
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    Posted Tuesday, February 15 2011 at 17:18

    A European diplomat has said Kenya's campaign to delay trials of suspected post-election violence masterminds at The Hague may prove futile.

    Ms Laetitia van den Assum, the Dutch ambassador to Kenya, says it would be "considerably difficult" for Kenya to demonstrate that if allowed to continue, the trials would be a threat to national peace and security.

    She pointed out that majority of opinion polls have shown that most Kenyans were in favour of the trials.

    "The UN Security Council may not seriously consider the request because apparently it is not a government position. One of the coalition leaders has distanced himself from the effort," Ms Laetitia, told the Nation in her office Tuesday.

    Instead, she advised Kenya to set up a credible judicial mechanism and then ask the International Criminal Court to return jurisdiction of the cases.

    Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and a number of ministers have spent the past few weeks shuttling around the continent to seek support for Kenya's bid to stop the trial of six suspects at The Hague.

    The African Union has already endorsed the decision and the UN Security Council is expected to make a determination on the matter.

    But the envoy cautioned that the campaign may not shield the politicians named in connection with the post-election violence because the ICC prosecutor follows credible evidence.

    "He has no regard for individuals and is determined to achieve justice for the victims of the violence."

    ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo has expressed intention to prosecute Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura and MPs Henry Kosgey and William Ruto for crimes against humanity. The others are former police commissioner Hussein Ali and journalist Joshua arap Sang.

    The diplomat asked President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to appoint "widely acceptable jurists " to key positions in the justice system.

    She spoke three days after US ambassador Michael Rannerberger declared that the Obama administration will block any attempts to halt trials, raising the possibility that the campaign was doomed to failure.

    "The American position is that we want the ICC process to proceed expeditiously. We do not want to see the process delayed. We think that carrying through with the trials is absolutely crucial to fighting impunity and to ensuring accountability," said Mr Mr Ranneberger.

    The US holds veto power in the Security Council and a rejection of the petition by any one of the five permanent members of the Council means the appeal would stand defeated. It is also widely expected that Britain and France may not support the Kenya bid for deferral.

    "We never say in advance what our positions are to be (at the UN) so obviously I can't say that we will veto. What I would say is that we do not see this effort to seek deferral as positive and we support a continuation of the process and we want to see the process move ahead expeditiously."
     
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