What you need to know:
- Amb Amina Mohamed said last year’s AU Summit resolved that serving Heads of State and their deputies should not be tried at the ICC and that has been achieved.
- She added that the AU has also succeeded in rallying support of all member states towards reviewing the Rome Statute and the role of the ICC prosecutor.
The African Union has achieved most of its agenda on the continent’s relationship with the International Criminal Court, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has said.
She said last year’s Extra-ordinary AU Summit resolved that serving Heads of State and their deputies should not be tried at the ICC and that has been achieved.
“AU decided President Uhuru Kenyatta should not attend trial in The Hague and he has not while Deputy President William Ruto has been granted partial excusal and does not have to attend all the court sessions,” Amb Mohamed said.
The Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary was addressing the journalists in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Tuesday ahead of the opening of the 22nd Ordinary Session of the AU Heads of State Summit slated for January 30-31.
She said the AU has also succeeded in rallying support of all member states towards reviewing the Rome Statute and the role of the ICC prosecutor.
“We have been able to look at the Rome Statute with objective eyes and we are in agreement on what needs to be done to address the shortcomings of the ICC,” she said.
Amb Mohamed noted that a report on what transpired during the last Assembly of State Parties (ASP) meeting will be presented and discussed at this week’s AU summit.
She revealed that a special ASP meeting will be held where amendments to the Rome Statute will be made to reflect Africa’s position.
On South Sudan, the Cabinet Secretary said the AU seeks to ensure that the verification and monitoring mechanisms of the signed agreement on cessation of hostilities are put in place quickly.
“This will make the delivery of food, medicine and humanitarian support to the people of South Sudan possible and end their suffering. Consequently, those who fled their country will be able to go back home,” she said.
The Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary said this week’s AU Summit, whose theme is ‘Agriculture and Food Security’, will also focus on economic growth, industrialisation, agribusiness and the AU budget.
The summit is also expected to discuss ways of mobilising resources from member states to stop AU’s over-reliance on its partners. “It is quite painful to many of us that 70 per cent of the AU budget is still funded by partners outside Africa,” Amb Mohamed said.
AU is celebrating 50 years of its existence and this provides an opportunity to look at past achievements and reflect on the future.
President Kenyatta is expected to attend the 22nd Ordinary Session of the African Union Heads of State Summit on Wednesday.