ICC: Kalonzo shuttle diplomacy hits New York

NEW YORK, Monday - Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka arrived at the UN Headquarters on Monday evening and went straight into a meeting with the president of the Security Council Mr Li Baodong of China.

Mr Li informed Mr Musyoka that the Security Council has received Kenya’s request for the deferral of the post election violence cases and that the request has since been circulated to members for consideration.

The Vice President is leading a Kenya delegation seeking the deferral of the cases from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Mr Musyoka said Kenya is seeking to postpone action against six Kenyans named by ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo as the most culpable suspects of the 2007/08 post election violence to allow for local trials through a national judicial mechanism.

The suspects, who have come to be referred to as the Ocampo Six, include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, head of civil service and secretary to the cabinet Francis Muthaura, suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto, suspended Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgei, former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali and radio presenter Julius Sang.

Pre-trial judges at The Hague are expected to rule soon whether the six have a case to answer.

Mr Musyoka is accompanied by Agriculture minister Dr Sally Kosgei, Nairobi Metropolitan minister Njeru Githae and the East Africa Cooperation minister Prof Hellen Sambili.

The Vice President said that Kenya has no intentions of pulling out of the ICC nor is it seeking to assist those named by the ICC prosecutor to escape justice: “All we want is [for] the UN Security Council to consider positively the Africa Union resolution endorsing Kenya’s request for a 12 month deferral to allow us to complete reforms and embark on local trials."

In separate meetings with the representatives of the three African members of the Security Council - Nigeria, Gabon and South Africa - Dr Kogei briefed them on reforms already underway to enable Kenya carry out credible local prosecutions.

She said these included the promulgation of a new Constitution which has created robust and independent institutions and will help reform the judiciary.

The Kenya delegation will meet UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon and representatives of the other four veto-wielding members - US, Russia, the United Kingdom and France.


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