The African Union (AU) is holding the International Criminal Court (ICC) hostage.
At its special summit held at Addis Ababa in Ethiopia from October 11-13, 2013, the AU demanded the ICC provide immunity from prosecution to sitting heads of state for crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. This demand is unlawful, unjust and contrary to article 27 of the ICC Statute.
The irony inherent in the request by the African leaders for immunity for themselves is that if one takes a look at the map of Africa, it becomes clear that some of the greatest critics of the ICC are leaders from states where presidents have come to power through prolonged armed conflicts that involved the deaths of thousands of civilians in the process.
Along the way, some of these presidents have retained power by use of brute force, state patronage and electoral rigging. Many such leaders have kept themselves in power for more than twenty years and counting. These crop of leaders are accountable to nobody and to no institution.
They cannot be subjected to local jurisdictions because they control all state institutions. Their track record of criminality tend to place them high on the ICC Prosecutor’s list of potential suspects. These are credible reasons why such African leaders are trying to discredit the ICC. Their objective is to pre-empt future criminal actions against them and not necessarily the protection of current accused persons facing trial before the ICC.
As a trade union for African leaders, the AU protects its members and their interests. And, the AU’s interests do not necessarily coincide with those of the ICC.
It is therefore not surprising that the rights of victims to a just and speedy trial never featured at the AU special summit. The same neglected victims have not had justice in their respective national courts because the perpetrators, under the cover of African leaders, enjoy immunity in all cases before a national jurisdiction.
Therefore, in the absence of the ICC, these victims will never get justice, compensation and closer. In turn, the perpetrators are often not investigated or prosecuted. It is prudent for Africans everywhere to be candid about abuses carried out by their leaders, purportedly in their names, and demand prosecution and not immunity.
Leaders who commit serious international crimes must be held to account and not given a free ride.
The case of President Yoweri Museveni
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, a recent convert to join a group of ICC critics after having invited the same institution to indict his nemesis, the notorious Joseph Kony, now leads an assault on the credibility of the ICC.
President Museveni falsely argues that the ICC is biased and shallow in handling complex African issues. President Museveni’s argument is nonsensical.First, when President Museveni referred the Lord’s Resistance matter and Joseph Kony to the ICC, the Prosecutor acted on his reference. Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo and President Museveni held a joint news conference in London announcing to the world that indictments and arrest warrants had been issued against the LRA leader and his senior advisors.
In fact, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal, some of Ocampo’s colleagues at the ICC were stunned about his public appearance with President Museveni, since the Ugandan leader himself was considered to be a possible candidate for prosecution in connection to crimes committed by Uganda’s military in DR Congo. The same article reported that President Museveni had urged then U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to block an investigation of the alleged crimes by Uganda’s military in Congo.
This could explain why President Museveni is today determined to derail the court. After the ICC prosecutes Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta in connection to his alleged role in the crimes committed during the 2007 Kenya presidential election campaigns, who knows who could be next?
Second, when the Uganda government and others filed an application before to the ICC to appear as a friend of the court, amicus curiae, in the Kenya case, the application was granted. They supported a decision allowing the leaders of Kenya to travel back and fourth between the Hague and Kenya. President Museveni’s false statement must be rejected as the ICC; operating from within its legal framework has not, to the best of my knowledge, ignored requests or applications from any accused person or State Party to the Rome Treaty.
President Museveni and some of his colleagues at the AU appear to deliberately ignore the obvious nexus between the United Nations Peacekeeping operations in conflict areas and the ICC investigations and prosecutions. The greatest numbers of the UN peace-keeping operations are in Africa.
Africa: Epicentre of conflicts
And, Africa is the continent where armed conflicts, and most of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes have occurred, and continues to occur. It is also a continent where perpetrators are rarely investigated or prosecuted; and national governments are unwilling or unable to investigate and prosecute those most responsible for the commission of these horrendous crimes.
The gross and massive violations of international humanitarian law on the African continent necessitate the involvement of the ICC Prosecutor to seek out the perpetrators and provide justice to victims. The deliberate use of a false equivalence by President Museveni that the ICC targets Africa without making a similar claim that the UN peace-keeping operations also targets Africa is disingenuous.
Without armed conflicts on the African continent, there would be fewer cases of violations of international humanitarian law with the result that the services of the ICC may not be necessary. Thus, Africa must put its house in order first before blaming the ICC.
To seek immunity for accused persons on the ground that the ICC targets African leaders is unreasonable and opportunistic. That is not an appropriate remedy. On the contrary, as the African leaders regularly plead with the UN to send peace-keeping troops to Africa, the African leaders, in large numbers ratified the ICC Statute because they recognized very early, the complexity of administering international criminal justice.
In many aspects, African governments begged the ICC Prosecutor, through self-referrals, to intervene in their domestic jurisdictions. The very reasons why African leaders referred cases to the ICC have not changed. Arguments of state sovereignty are nothing but a fig leaf.
ICC Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s intervention
Most reasonable people agree that the ICC is not perfect. Indeed, all global organizations, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organizations, and others, have weaknesses and flaws. Attempts have always been made by members to improve such global organizations.
With respect to the United Nations, African leaders have not threatened to pull out of the organization because its peace-keeping operations target Africa or because the continent does not have a Permanent seat on the Security Council. Criticisms of the ICC by African leaders are anchored primarily on false grounds. However, the real challenges that face the ICC can be effectively discussed within its legal framework without necessarily using a cover that the institution targets Africa.
A candid Archbishop Desmond Tutu unveils the elephant in the room when he says: “African leaders behind the move to extract the continent from jurisdiction of the ICC are effectively seeking a license to kill, maim and oppress their people without consequences.”
Tutu’s warnings come from wealth of experience given his own country’s history, as he recalled: “In South Africa, it has taken a long process of truth and reconciliation for the wounds of apartheid to begin to heal. In Kenya, the post-election violence wounds will take a long time to heal. Put simply, where justice and order is not restored, there can be no healing, leaving violence and hatred ticking like a bomb in the corner.”
Tutu added: “At the front, we need the heavyweight champions of Africa – South Africa and Nigeria – to exercise their leadership and stop those that do not like the rules from attempting to re-write them.
Elsewhere, Tutu warns “The continent has suffered the consequences of unaccountable governance for too long to disown the protections offered by the I.C.C.” I fully concur.
Immunity for African leaders unlawful
On the other hand, Uhuru Kenyatta whose trial at the ICC at the Hague is scheduled to start November 12, while in Ethiopia used hard language to denounce the court, saying it “stopped being the home of justice the day it became the toy of declining imperial powers,” and that the ICC was guilty of “bias and race-hunting”.
This is an interesting way for a suspect to conduct a defense weeks before his trial starts. In fact, President Museveni gave President Kenyatta the template of dealing with the ICC during the Kenyan leader’s swearing in ceremony earlier this year.
Instead of being negative and destructive, the African Union can choose to play a positive role. Under article 121 of the ICC Statute, there are detailed provisions for amendments. Article 121(1) for example authorizes any State Party to propose amendments to any provision of the statute. The text of any proposed amendment shall be submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall promptly circulate it to all State Parties.
The proposed amendment is dealt with at a meeting of the Assembly of State Parties or at a Review Conference. The process is simple, straightforward with no complication. Any serious State Party will adopt this course.
As regards the granting of immunity to African heads of state, such a request, based on current law, would be unlawful. Article 27(1) of the Rome Treaty expressly provides that the statute shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity in particular, official capacity as a head of state or government, a member of a government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Statute, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of sentence.
On immunity from prosecution, article 27(2) clarifies that immunities or special procedural rules may attach to the official capacity of a person, whether under national law or international law, shall not bar the Court from exercising its jurisdiction of such a person.
If the AU find article 27 offensive and seek a remedy, the forum to go to is to the State Party meeting or a review conference where a proposed amendment to article 27 is presented. The AU special summit is not a forum from where the African leaders can issue directives to the ICC and literally seeking to hold the ICC hostage.
These AU resolutions have no legal effect and the ICC is free to ignore such reckless ultimatum. Overall, even if the AU were to submit a proposed amendment, it would face serious challenges because article 27 reflects existing international customary law and has been the law applicable since the Nuremberg Trials. The chances of amending article 27 to create special status for African leaders are unrealistic, but it is their right to try and propose their preferred amendment.
By seeking to amend article 27, the AU loses its moral authority, or whatever little moral authority it may have had in some part of Africa. It appears the African leaders need unfettered authority to oppress their people without consequences as articulated by Archbishop Tutu.
By ignoring both the victims and evidence of criminality implicating accused at the ICC trials, the AU is simply peddling the old notion of African leaders’ relation to power where the “big man” does no wrong and is accountable to no one or any institution. Or at worse, AU is hiding its head in the sun.
The sub-text of the AU decision is not about the ICC. It is about a relationship between African leaders and their victims. The ICC Statute has altered that relationship and made all accused persons, regardless of their status or official position, individually criminally responsible for their acts or omissions.
It is against this legal norm on responsibility and accountability that scares the African leaders and not some obscure idea that the ICC targets Africa. The African leaders themselves know that the ICC is not targeting Africans but investigating and prosecuting perpetrators, most of whom are “leaders” based on credible evidence.
It is conceded that ICC investigations may not be in the interest of African leaders, but the victims who remain unprotected by their governments appreciate and support it. To the ordinary African, the ICC has not gone far enough. There are many African leaders out there who need to be investigated, arrested and prosecuted.
In conclusion, just as the UN peace-keepers seek to provide security to the civilian population in armed conflict situations, the ICC seeks to provide justice to the victims who cannot get any form of remedy from their national justice system.
The ICC serves good purposes and is of benefit to the African victims and the civilian population. All people of good will must support the ICC in fulfilling its mandate.
Dr. Obote Odora is a Consultant in International Criminal Law & Policy
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Lawyers warn of arrest if Uhuru absconds
By DAVE OPIYO
More by this Author
A section of lawyers on Sunday warned of the possibility of the International Criminal Court issuing a warrant for President Kenyatta’s arrest should he fail to attend his trial in The Hague.
This followed the AU resolve on Saturday that President Kenyatta should not show up for trial at the ICC on November 12 before the request to adjourn his case is addressed.
This came as ICC officials remained tight-lipped on their next move, with a senior official who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter saying they were yet to officially receive the resolutions.
“We are not providing a comment just yet. We need to first study the resolutions of the meeting before we can speak about it. The resolutions have not been transmitted to us. We have not seen them,” the official told the Nation on Sunday.
In show of support, Juja MP Francis Munyua said he would relinquish his parliamentary seat in protest while his colleagues Francis Kigo (Gatundu North) and Alice Ng’ang’a (Thika) told the President to boycott the case.
In Kericho, Soin/Sigowet MP Justice Kemei asked AU member states to consider pulling out of the Rome Statute.
However, Mr George Kegoro, the executive director for International Commission of Jurists – Kenyan Chapter, warned that if President Kenyatta heeds the African Union resolution, “then Kenya will be like Sudan.”
He was referring to arrest warrants issued for Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir since 2009. “It is now up to the President to decide whether to respect the ICC summons as Kenya is still a State party to the Rome Statute or follow the AU resolutions…if he decides to follow the latter, then I can assure you that Kenya will be like Sudan,” he said.
Similar sentiments were also echoed by Mr Gitobu Imanyara, another lawyer, who warned that the country risked international isolation if the President did not attend the trial.
Through his Twitter account, Mr Imanyara, a former MP, said should the President skip trial, the warrant for arrest would be against him and not the leaders advising him.
“There is no humiliation in proving one’s innocence before a Court of law such as the ICC. Deputy President Ruto has not been humiliated,” he tweeted.
“There will be greater humiliation for the President and Kenya as a nation if he fails to attend his trial. It is not the Western powers that will face decline, but Kenya as a country, if Uhuru takes AU ‘advice’ and shuns ICC. Follow Ruto’s example,” read another tweet.
Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua also tweeted that leaders are elected to represent the people but not to advance personal agenda.
“But Africa seems to want to redefine democracy,” she said.
Law Society of Kenya chief executive Apollo Mboya said that the LSK council would sit today to deliberate the matter before making their official position known.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has condemned the AU’s demand that the African leaders be exempted from prosecution by the ICC.
Kenyan president Kenyatta’s war crimes trial set to be suspended
The war crimes trial of Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta could be suspended for at least a year under a diplomatic deal to be put to the United Nations.
By Damien McElroy, Mike Pflanz in Nairobi
7:25PM BST 13 Oct 2013
Western diplomats are preparing a UN Security Council resolution that would put the International Criminal Court (ICC) case on hold after the African Union lodged objections to the trial.
Sources said the resolution was to avoid a damaging stand-off between the court and African states over charges faced by Mr Kenyatta of orchestrating post-election violence that killed more than 1,000 people in 2007-08.
Mr Kenyatta has said he is reluctant to attend the opening of his trial in The Hague on Nov 12 after judges agreed to alternate his appearances with the hearing for William Rutto, the vice-president, who is also charged.
However, an extraordinary summit of the African Union on Saturday issued an ultimatum to the court to stop the case, warning judges that Mr Kenyatta must not be compelled to face trial.
Mr Kenyatta, who was elected in March, welcomed the decision and criticised the court. “It stopped being the home of justice the day it became the toy of declining imperial powers,” he said. “Africa is not a third-rate territory of second-class peoples. We are not a project, or experiment of outsiders.” Diplomats fear the trial could create a impasse in which the Kenyan leader either pulls out of the process at the last minute or African states start withdrawing from its jurisdiction.
“Uhuru is not an indicted figure who is defying the court like Sudan’s president (Omar) Bashir. He is someone who is working closely with the West in a region in chaos that needs to tackle a very worrying terrorist situation,” a senior European diplomat said. “A solution must be found that avoids a breakdown in relations with Kenyatta or the court’s authority.”
Mr Kenyatta’s trial comes just weeks after Kenya faced its biggest security crisis in recent memory as al-Shabaab terrorists took over Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall. Sixty-seven people were killed in a bloody seige as Mr Kenyatta personally oversaw the security operation against the hostage-takers.
The Telegraph understands that European officials have sought to adopt measures to ensure Mr Kenyatta is not forced to leave the country in the wake of the Westgate incident.
All of the active cases before the ICC are against Africans, prompting claims by polticians that the tribunal is unfairly targeting the continent.
An official in Mr Kenyatta’s administration confirmed the shift in his approach to the charges and suggested it was possible he would stop cooperating. “We have been talking about the double standards of the court for some time,” the official said. “What the president told the AU was simply an extension of that.”
Unless the ICC prosecutor or the court asks its member countries to endorse a postponement, the only authority that can intervene is the UN Security Council. As the US is not a member of the court, it has fallen to British and French officials to push forward a resolution, which could be adopted by the end of the month.
A spokesman for the ICC said it had no scope to object if the Security Council invoked international security issues to suspend the case. “The Security Council can adopt a resolution to impose a suspension based on the protection of peace and security in world,” said Fadi al-Abullah, the ICC spokesman. “In that case it would be out of the hands of the prosecutor as the ICC has no role to advise the security council in these matters.”
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said Britain had not changed its position that Mr Kenyatta and the other defendents should cooperate with the ICC.
Bill Cash, the Conservative MP and chairman of the All-Party Kenya Group, called on the Government to support a suspension of the trial in a House of Commons debate last week.
“The events in Kenya were horrific but the president was democratically elected by a significant majority in full knowledge of the case. That must give rise to questions over the continuation of the original application to the ICC,” he said.
Yes, let officials explain the missing Sh300b
Updated Sunday, October 13th 2013 at 22:35 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta should be commended for giving government officials seven days to explain how they spent over Sh300 billion the Auditor General says is unaccounted for in the 2011/2012 financial year. We hope the reports will be made public and appropriate sanctions imposed on those who fail to offer satisfactory explanations.
Although it would be over-reaching to expect President Kenyatta to take the same route recently taken by Malawi President Joyce Banda, who sacked her whole cabinet following accusations of massive corruption, it may not be too much to hope that the individuals found to have enriched themselves would be sacked, prosecuted and their ill-gotten wealth seized. Kenyans have waited a long time to see action against looters of public coffers to accept anything less than that.
One area the AG zeroed in on that demands particular attention is the irregular disbursement of Sh149 million, ostensibly to foreign pensioners from the Consolidated Fund. Every self-respecting auditor knows failure to balance a particular ledger because of a small inexplicable amount is often a pointer to a grand fraud.
It would, therefore, not be surprising if a careful audit of the Consolidated Fund, with particular emphasis on the payments made to service foreign debts, reveals massive losses that are covered up year in year out.
There is consensus among those familiar with how Treasury operates, for example, that the country continued to pay foreign loans owed to Yugoslavia â€“ and other former East European countries â€“ long after the formerly Communist country broke up into smaller units. A forensic audit of these accounts would reveal who benefitted from these payments for it certainly was not the Yugoslav people.
There is also reason to believe that Treasury continues to pay other bilateral and multi-lateral countries long after the loans have been repaid. All this points to a need to appoint a respected internal auditor, preferably a foreign one for obvious reasons, to go through Treasury and Central Bank of Kenya books with a fine tooth-comb.
The exerciseÂ should, ideally, be extended to other ministries and followed up by bringing to book all the people found culpable whether in office or retired. That is the only way the new technocrats recently appointed to run ministries can be given a clean slate.
The People Of Kenya should stop behaving like Primitive Villagers
by thinking of Referendum.There is no Referendum for a dictator who murdered ,raped, maimed and hates Kenyan people .Why is only Kikuyus and some other few fanatics supporting Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto who burned Kikuyu Children in a church. On the other hand Kenya highly taxed by Uhuru un-progressive taxation which is very oppresive and meant to robe the poor, The Icc is in Kenya to stay . The fear of the ICC defended and protected Kenyans in resently elections where no political Party dared incite Violence in Kenya. Why is Uhuru Kenyatta fearing going to Hague and defend him. The ICC should not succumb to a mass- murderer who spornsored a terrorist organization Mungiki to murder, rape. burn maim innocent Kenyans whose crimes was voting the opposition and belonging to wrong tribes ,like Luos, Luhyas,Kalenjins,Kisii people. I think this time the world won’t hear Uhuru Kenyatta asking Cord leader Hon; Raila Odinga whether Hague ni Kwa Nyina!
Any right thinking people believe the People of Kenya deserves a better President and not a bunch of habitual criminals charged by the ICC for committing crimes against humanity.
Look some of Uhuru Kenyatta’s crimes he Committed .This Woman was burned her thoat throat cut with a Mungiki Matchet (panga) Focefully raped in turns by Uhuru Kenyatta’s Mungiki (terrorist organization) that defends and protects Wealthiest Kikuyu assets and during campaigns these gangs are used to murder ,terrorise etc and to threaten Opposition indivinduals .The woman in this Video is a Kalenjin the tribe of William Ruto She suffered in the hands of these Kikuyu simply becouse she belongs to the wrong tribe a kalenjin
Kenyan might lynch Uhuru Kenyatta when saction starts to bite and perhaps stick his Ass gadaffi style Grant sitting presidents immunity from prosecution/persecution for crimes allegedly committed DURING their tenure by ICC, and these ‘life’ presidents will never face justice unless a coup is orchestrated and they survive without being say sodomized with sticks by the rebels Gadaffi style,before being lynched. You just given then an incentive to cling to power till rapture his kunduz.
Grant sitting presidents immunity from prosecution/persecution for crimes allegedly committed BEFORE their tenure by ICC, and they will do all humanly impossible to ascend to the presidency. They will shoot,maim,kill,steal,loot,bribe their way to the top
The Attack on Westgate Mall and Kenya’s Opposition to the ICC
By Steven Robles
SUNDAY OCTOBER 13, 2013
On September 23, the International Criminal Court granted Kenya’s Deputy President, William Ruto a week long adjournment during the climax of Al-Shabab’s attack on Westgate Mall in Nairobi. While Kenya begins to recover from what President Uhuru Kenyatta called a “despicable and beastly” attack, the ICC has reminded Ruto that his trial must resume this week.
Ruto’s case preludes Kenyatta’s, which is slated to begin in mid-November.
Kenyatta and Ruto are accused of organizing the violent outbreaks that followed the 2007 election cycle in Kenya. The crimes against humanity for which they stand accused resulted in the death of around 1,300 Kenyans and left another half million displaced. While the two politicians fervently deny the charges, they have consistently stated their intention to adhere to the ICC process.
Despite these assurances, the Kenyan government has taken steps to undermine the court at every turn. For instance, after Kenyatta was elected last spring, Kenya’s delegate to the UN submitted a petition to the ICC to terminate its proceedings against him and sent a letter to the UN Security Council asking that body to intervene and end the trials. In early September, Kenya’s parliament snubbed the Court by passing a bill that, if signed, would begin the process of Kenya’s withdrawal from the ICC.
Nevertheless, human rights observers like Daniel Bekele from Human Rights Watch have deemed the trial of Kenya’s head of state crucial to ending the nation’s “impunity crisis.” “For decades those who have turned Kenya’s elections into bloodbaths have gotten away with murder,” he explained.
Before September 21, the ICC treaded a precarious line between maintaining the integrity of its process and remaining sensitive to Kenya’s political stability and national security. The attack at Westgate Mall, during which more than 70 civilians were gunned down, has turned that precarious line into a perilous tightrope. The attack has galvanized international support for Kenyatta, and has reminded the world of Kenya’s importance to countering terrorism and establishing stability in East Africa.
The coming months will be the most trying in the ICC’s brief history. The outcome of the two trials could have lasting effects on the legitimacy of the young international tribunal.
“Don’t be vague, say the Hague!”
The 1998 Rome Statute, which came into force in 2002, established the ICC and endowed it with the “power to exercise its jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of international concern,” including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The ICC, sometimes called the “Court of last resort,” sets out to complement the national criminal jurisdictions of state-parties. As long as the internal judicial system of a state-party can successfully hold perpetrators accountable for international crimes, the ICC will not override that nation’s jurisdiction. The court only has jurisdiction when a state-party is unable or unwilling to pursue justice at the national level.
Cases can come before the ICC through three channels. First, the U.N. Security Council can refer cases to the ICC. Second, a state-party can refer a case from its own jurisdiction for consideration by the ICC. Third, the ICC can initiate its own investigation.
The trials against Ruto and Kenyatta came to the Court through this last channel. Prior to ICC involvement, Parliamentary votes to establish a tribunal to investigate responsibility for the post-election violence failed on three separate occasions.
Kenyatta is not only a powerful politician, he is the son of Kenya’s founder, Jomo Kenyatta, and also the nation’s richest man. The Kenyan Parliament’s failure to establish a tribunal is just one example of how this “impunity crisis” permeated the highest level of lawmaking in Kenya.
Kenyatta and Ruto have consistently denied the charges leveled against them. The two have also complied with every summons the Court has issued. However, as mentioned above, the actions that the Kenyan government has taken to stall the Court’s process demonstrate how it consciously undermines the ICC at a number of levels.
As the trials commence, Kenyatta, Ruto, and other commentators have started to argue that the ICC process will degrade Kenya’s stability. Even if they end impunity for crimes against humanity, will the trials endanger the very people they were meant to help protect?
The ICC and stability in Kenya
Many critics of the ICC trials against Kenyatta and Ruto claim that the proceedings will endanger Kenya’s fragile political stability. Kenyatta and Ruto represent an alliance between the Kikuyu and Kalenjin tribes. This alliance is particularly significant because much of the violence that followed the 2007 elections occurred between these two ethnic groups.
The ICC investigations may have helped solidify this alliance in the most recent elections. As Catherine Wambua-Soi, Al Jazeera’s East and Central Africa producer explained, “The ICC was the glue that held Kenyatta and Ruto together…At the end of it all, the two were seen as victims and many argue that the March vote was in essence a protest against all the ‘outsiders’ who warned of consequences of electing suspects of crimes against humanity.”
While the ICC trials are crucial for holding violators of international human rights standards accountable, if they undermine the stability that has halted ethnic violence, then they will put many more Kenyans at risk.
A panel of Kenyan political analysts and former legislators recently described two kinds of justice at work. Speaking for the panel, Peter Kagwanja, CEO of the Africa Policy Institute argued that “The kind of hang ‘em high justice you see at the ICC has absolutely nothing to do with the victims.” Meanwhile, the men, women and children who were displaced by violence in 2007, and who continue to languish in ill-equipped Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps need a kind of “restorative justice” that the ICC has not addressed. Restorative justice would focus on providing the victims with humanitarian aide and development to facilitate substantive improvements to their quality of life.
Still, the ICC has maintained that holding perpetrators accountable is not only essential for justice on behalf of victims, but also for assuring that crimes such as these will not occur in the future. More than anything else, the Court has reiterated its dedication to the ICC process. As chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda reminded the international community earlier in September, “The judicial process is now in motion at the International Criminal Court. Justice must run its course.”
The galvanizing effect of the attack on Westgate
On September 21, gunmen from the al Qaeda linked Somali militant group al-Shabab stormed into an upscale mall in Nairobi. The ensuing four day standoff resulted in at least 70 deaths and another 175 injuries. Most of the fatalities were civilians.
During the siege, al-Shabab stated via Twitter, “For long we have waged war against the Kenyans in our land, now its time to shift the battleground and take the war to their land.”
Al-Shabab’s goal may have been to strike fear in the heart of Kenyans, but their violence has also helped Kenyatta and Ruto galvanize domestic and international support. In a statement made during the crisis, Kenyatta, whose nephew died in the attack, promised, “We shall have full accountability for the mindless destruction, deaths, pain, loss and suffering we have all undergone as a national family. These cowards will meet justice, as will their accomplices wherever they are.”
Kenyatta’s strong words reassert Kenya’s geopolitical importance to the global war on terror. In a phone call with Kenyatta, President Barrack Obama offered the United States’ condolences for the attack and reaffirmed his nation’s partnership with Kenya.
The European Union’s Africa Director, Nick Wescott reflected Obama’s sentiments, “I would regard the need to combat terrorism as essential business,” he stated in an interview with Reuters. While Wescott also mentioned that the ICC trial should be kept separate from Kenya’s importance to combating terrorism, he hedged his bets.
“Let’s see how it goes. It is essential that we all work as closely together as possible to deal with threats like this in Kenya, in Somalia, everywhere,” Wescott offered.
Kenyatta’s allies have already begun to argue that the President’s trial should be dropped in light of the attack. Moses Kuria, who works for Kenyatta and Ruto’s Jubilee coalition asked, “Do you want to focus on the ICC when so much has to be done? The security concerns of the world at this time would better be served by us focusing all our energies on fighting terrorism,” he went on.
While the ICC is still considering Kenyatta’s request to appear by video for his first hearing instead of in person, the court’s prosecutor has taken a proactive position toward the effects of al-Shabab’s attack.
According to Reuters, Benosouda, the ICC’s chief prosecutor, stated that she was ready to use the same branch of the ICC that is prosecuting Kenyatta and Ruto to help Kenya “bring justice to those responsible for the weekend raid in Nairobi.” She continued stating that “such attacks by armed groups upon innocent civilians are contrary to international law and may constitute a crime under the Rome Statute, to which Kenya is a State Party.”
Al-Shabab’s attack adds to the political repercussions of Kenyatta and Ruto’s trials for the ICC. Consequently, the ICC has even more at stake moving forward. But as the geopolitical importance of the trials grows, the voice of the victims of the post election violence of 2007 continues to wane.
The Africa Issue
Is the International Criminal Court (ICC) targeting Africa inappropriately?
we are appalled and ashamed by discussions at Addis and the role Kenya played to organize the infamous meeting.we are ashamed of Jacob nzuma and his ex wife in appearing to support people who want to escape justice.it is unbelievable that south Africa whose Mandela is shining hero of ordinary African masses are the ones leading onslaught against protection of the people.
NIGERIA is another shame so is Ghana how could countries with such illustrious history in Africa be bribed to support impunity in the continent ?.
who are the leading lights for deferral of Kenyan cases ?
what do they have in common ? bad leadership,corrupt leadership,misrule,criminal presidents ,possible inductees ?
friends of Kenyans at civil society,human rights,open society,friendly western citizens,Desmond tutu,kofi annan, don’t abandon Kenyans now……………kindly petition your governments,civil rights groups to send urgent petition to united nations security council not to fall to trick of African union and evil designs of Kenya government to defer cases already underway in Hague…any scuttle of the cases will create spiral cycle of violence,political impunity,instability and mass slaughter and displacement of Kenya.it happened in 1987,again in 2002 and nothing was done and it happened in 2007 on large scale.it didn’t happen in 2012 because of ICC ..you remove ICC mechanism and Kenya will-be done.we would loose our republic to criminal leadership and political thugs who don’t care about citizens but own aggrandizement…
the African union have never held special session to draw master plan of integrated development in Africa.transport,agriculture,forestry,mining,trade,commerce etc are neglected but uhuruto icc agenda find space fro resolution..it is a shame.when kenya went through cycle of violence in 1987.2002 we didnt hear any voice from Africa Kenya masses were left to their own devices at state inspired violence and ethnic cleansing..incidentally rut o and uhuru were involved in yk92 in leading their tribes to slaughter each other .this game didn’t start in 2007.if it weren’t ICC,you can be sure it will reappear more vicious.
Kenyans must reject jubilee from linking fate of Kenyans with personal tribulation of uhuruto who knew and were told not stand for presidency because of criminal case but chose to ignore wise counsel with connivance of willy mutunga court at prodding of kibaki..now we are being dragged along…..we cant let uhuruto drag Kenya to abyss..let the journey they chose to travel go on..let them accept ICC and move on ….
we know our leaders are devoting all time and resources to ICC at our expense and at expense of nationhood but again we are product of dysfunctional political thinking and system who after liberation in 2002 brought in kanu again,the oppressor in jubilee…lets all go to Hague!!!!!
London bridge is falling apart .there are millions of britons sleeping hungry. Uk is no longer Great Britain.Uk is a tiny island .ask president Putin Uk needs Kenya Uk cpmpanies got Oil and Gas contracts in Kenya The Tullow oil. London needs Uhuru more than anybody Their kids school there. They go there for medical treatment. They hide the money they loot from us there.
Kenyans should not listen or buy stories written by Gutter Press >Fatou Bensounda (OTP).if she hold(grips) your testicles she never lets it go. Just look her stature size strong mother Africa a defender of the poor gang raped african women who lives in Jehanum created and supervised by these African mad-dictators suffering from rabies infecting and spreading to their oppressed citizenscom masses. Shame African Hyenas & wolves who met in Ethiopian capital The cursed Addis-ababaAU is an organization of darkness and death! Kumanina zenu!The OTP Bensounda is still holding Ruto&Uhuru Makende ready to crash them into powder.
President #Uhurukenyatta said clearly that his trial at The Hague was a personal problem. A good chunk of the 6million+ voters who gave him the mandate did so clearly knowing that his personal problems will not at any time interfere with his discharge of duties;
All of a sudden now, Uhurukenyatta personal problem have become a national problem touching on the sovereignty of the country… Worse still, it is being manifested as a continental problem by an amorphous group of senile dictators calling themselves the AU, who by all means are just out to protect their dirty acts and wanting human rights records. Who told you that these presidents have the interest of Kenyans at heart? They have all along viewed Kenya with envy, for holding together even when the rest of Africa was degenerating into anarchy.. Now they are laughing at us, they want us to join the league of failed states… they are simply viewing Kenya as the lost prodigal son who is coming back home, home to anarchy, home to wanting human rights records, home to defiance, home to looters of national wealth, home to sidelined states.
Since when did we start being patronaged by the likes of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea, José Eduardo dos Santos, President of Angola, King Mswati III, King of Swaziland, Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan, Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea, Idriss Déby of Chad, Yahya Jammeh of Gambia, Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso and Paul Biya of Cameroon.
These are all tin-pot despot with no vision and no agenda, save self-perpetuation in power by liquidating opponents and stifling dissent. They have turned their countries into national prisons in which independent media are shut down and elections are categorically rejected. They are responsible for the deaths of millions of Africans and are candidates for being indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. That is why they want company in #Uhurukenyatta and his co accused, That’s why they want company in Kenya.. Are we really ready to travel this route?
Kenya joined The ICC convention alone. So this mass mob justice should never apply to us.
My name is Charles Tylor a former President of Liberia I want to be jailed in Rwanda so that my comrade in killing Kagame will be granting me favors like sex7underground dealings etc>
Here comes a very candid message to Uhuru very crystal clear…..He told parliament: “The conviction of Charles Taylor is a landmark moment for international justice.”
“It clearly demonstrates that those who commit atrocities will be held to account and that no matter their position they will not enjoy impunity.”
Taylor’s appeal against his conviction was rejected last month and he remains in The Hague, awaiting transfer
Malnutrition kills 362 children across Niger: UN
A United Nations report says over 360 children under the age of five have died of malnutrition in the West African nation of Niger during first nine months of this year.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Niamey said the young children died between January and September this year in Zinder region.
“According to the last epidemiological report on the situation in Zinder, there were 79,087 cases of acute severe malnutrition in children under the age of five, of which 362 had died between January 1 and September 23,” said a report published by the UN regional office.
This populated and impoverished region of Niger is regularly hit by consecutive severe food crises due to drought, affecting women and children particularly. However, malnutrition, mild or acute, is present in all eight regions of Niger, a poor desert state that is frequently faced with food crises.
The deaths are the latest caused by the malnutrition crisis in Niger and elsewhere in Africa, with poverty being the main reason behind the crisis.
Malnutrition continues to take more lives in Africa, with children still being the main victims of the lack of essential food.
According to UNICEF, malnutrition is largely caused by the absence of essential nutrients for children, delaying development and weakening the immune system against ordinary childhood illnesses.
This situation has continued unabated, despite warnings by charity groups and their demand for further donations to help resolve the problem. Several charity groups have also urged world powers to take action, instead of making mere commitments to eradicate poverty.
He has never slept since he was rigged to retain status Quo this is Uhuru Kenyatta the biggest Land grabber in Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta occupies a land bigger than Nyanza Province >Which is which?
To reasonable Kenyans, the fact is Uhuru is acting like someone who is deathly afraid to appear at trial. Put another way, he is acting like someone with a guilty conscience.
Finally, in listening to the way Uhuru is now using the African nationalism card to attack the ICC, one could be forgiven in thinking that Uhuru and his father (Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first president) were champions of the Mau Mau and people like Dedan Kimathi’s widow. Yet we know that nothing could be further from the truth. Uhuru and his father had NO interest in the welfare of former Mau Mau fighters. In fact, people who championed rights such as those of the Mau Mau, like JM Kariuki, were assassinated during his father’s rule. So for him to play the African nationalism card now that he is facing a court that he cannot control is simply shameless!
Monday, October 14, 2013
Bloggers to undergo journalism training
By JOYCE KIMANI
More by this Author
Bloggers who want to be recognised as journalists will be forced to undertake diploma and degree courses in Mass Communication.
Media Council of Kenya CEO Harun Mwangi argued that prosecuting bloggers was a challenge since they cannot be tagged to the journalism career.
“It becomes very hard when a complaint comes to our office that a blogger has defamed or abused a person online. This is because bloggers do not have any idea about journalism or the code of ethics,” said Mr Mwangi.
He argued that bloggers were tarnishing professionalism in the media with many abusing social media platform and using it as a tool to breed ethnicity and hatred.
“Most of them have never stepped in any media class. That is why they can be able to publish obscenities and get away with it. They only care for their popularity,” he added.
Mwangi argued that there was need for bloggers to be accredited to by MCK.
He was speaking at the weekend during a media workshop at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha.
The advantages of these devilish masks>they are worn by rapists to hide who they are , robbers wear them when robbing banks shops etc. rapist hide their faces when raping their neigbours wives, daughters and when raping old grand mamas(coco) but mostly when sicrificing to devil worshippers gods!Uhuru delegation who bought them from China Ask Sonko/Uhuru /coy>
Watch this Video a cartel of Homosexual Mps ordered these devilish masks to cover their faces when performing Anal sex hence 70%Kenyan Mps are Gays>
Let Kenya politician serve their Satan as their Money God>
Nigeria’s President Jonathan seeks immunity for African leaders from ICC prosecution for war crimes, genocide
Published: October 12,2013
Nigeria said it is ‘disappointed’ with the ICC over African affairs.
Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, has called for an amendment of the laws governing the International Criminal Court, ICC, to allow serving African leaders to enjoy immunity from prosecution for war crimes, genocide, and war against humanity.
Two serving African presidents, Sudan and Kenya, have been accused of war crimes by the ICC.
Mr. Jonathan stated this on Saturday in an address at the Extraordinary Session of African Union Heads of State and Government, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“Our (Nigeria’s) position is that certain Articles of the Rome Statute are of grave concern to Africa. In particular, Article 27 which denies immunity to all persons without regard to customary international law, conventions and established norms, must be amended.”
Mr. Jonathan like many other African leaders at the conference, said Nigeria was ‘disappointed’ with the ICC over its handling of matters affecting African leaders.
The president, who expressed Nigeria’s support for the existence of the ICC, said, “While the work of the International Criminal Court is immensely useful for the achievement of a world without crimes against humanity, genocide and other acts of impunity, it would be fair to say that in Africa today, the wave of democratization has engendered greater commitment to the rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights.”
He said the African Union and the ICC shared common principles on war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The president said his belief that both organisations share similar principles is “the reason why the refusal of the International Criminal Court to accede to the requests by our member-states for the deferral of the cases involving the President of Sudan, and now, the President and Deputy President of Kenya has left many of us in the African continent disappointed.”
Mr. Jonathan asked African countries to “maintain our unity and speak with one voice on Kenya,” and called for a reform of the ‘limitations’ of the Rome Statute governing the ICC.
Opponents of the kind of amendment sought by Mr. Jonathan, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, say granting such immunity would mean giving permission to African leaders to commit war crimes.
Many African leaders, including Nigeria’s, already enjoy immunity from all kinds of prosecution while in office.
Section 308 of the Nigerian constitution guarantees total immunity to Nigeria’s serving president and vice president from all kinds of prosecution. A weak and corrupt anti-crime and judicial system has also ensured that Nigerian leaders are not prosecuted even after leaving office.
Many Nigerians and civil society organisations have already called for an amendment or removal of that section of the constitution; which is already being considered by the House of Representatives in its ongoing constitutional amendment process.
Read President Jonathan’s full speech below.
STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN AT THE EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF AFRICAN UNION HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT IN ADDIS ABABA, OCTOBER 12, 2013
Madam Chairperson of the Commission,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to participate in this meeting today on the subject of Africa’s relationship with the International Criminal Court.
While the work of the International Criminal Court is immensely useful for the achievement of a world without crimes against humanity, genocide and other acts of impunity, it would be fair to say that in Africa today, the wave of democratization has engendered greater commitment to the rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights.
Indeed, the Constitutive Act of our Union explicitly prohibits war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity with clear sanctions for violations. I am convinced that our Union and the International Criminal Court are united in our principles and objectives on these matters.
This is why the profound dissatisfaction that has been expressed about the Court’s relationship with Africa deserves the special attention that this Assembly is paying to it at this session.
It is also the reason why the refusal of the International Criminal Court to accede to the requests by our member-states for the deferral of the cases involving the President of Sudan, and now, the President and Deputy President of Kenya has left many of us in the African continent disappointed.
Many are concerned that the African Union’s principled position that African leaders should not be targeted by the ICC has been ignored, and that the ICC, despite its universal jurisdiction, seems to be devoting unusual energy and enthusiasm to the prosecution of cases from Africa, compared to cases from other parts of the world.
If the Court is concerned about this implied allegation of bias; it has not, in our opinion, taken enough pro-active steps to address it and allay the fears of concerned stakeholders. We think it should.
In our deliberations today, we must not lose sight of the legal identity of our Union relative to the obligations of States Parties of the Rome Statute. Thirty four (34) African countries, including Nigeria, are signatories to this Statute.
Given that not all members of the Assembly are signatories to it, it is important that we balance our interests in a manner that enables signatory and non-signatory members of our Union to express solidarity with one another on matters arising from their obligations. In this regard, it is important that we maintain our unity and speak with one voice on Kenya.
It will also be useful to point out the limitations of the Rome Statute, in order to strengthen the ICC and reposition it for greater fairness and equity in the discharge of its noble responsibilities. This Assembly should urgently call its members in the Assembly of States Party of the Statute, to mobilize requisite support to achieve reforms in the shortest time possible.
Our position is that certain Articles of the Rome Statute are of grave concern to Africa. In particular, Article 27 which denies immunity to all persons without regard to customary international law, conventions and established norms, must be amended.
Similarly, Articles 63 and 98 need close scrutiny and review. There is also the need to align Articles 27 and 98 with a view to bringing them in conformity with the tenets of customary international law, conventions and norms.
In expressing my support for Kenya on its difficulties with the ICC, I will like to acknowledge that five years after the post-election violence of 2007, the people of Kenya have proven to the world that they are capable of expressing their sovereign wishes in a free, fair and credible manner in accordance with democratic norms and values.
This is a clear demonstration to the world that the people of Kenya are in the best position to determine their own future and deal with their past.
To further consolidate this, I would like to urge the Kenyan Parliament to hasten its consideration of the Report of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission to facilitate the implementation of its recommendations in order to accelerate the process of national healing.
What remains is for the international community, in particular, the ICC, to give the elected leaders of Kenya the space to discharge their mandate in meeting the aspirations and needs of their people.
I thank you.
To supporters of Impunity kings such as Uhuru, Mugabe, Bashir, Goodluck Jonathan, and many other useless African leaders:
Tell your so-called corrupt African leaders to stop begging for loans and grants from the western nations, which they eventually steal. Remember that he who pay the piper dictate the tune. And again ask your mumu African leaders to stop killing their citizens in extrajudicial manners, without recourse to laid down rules and laws. And let me remind you that nobody forced your crude and criminal minded African leaders to be a signatory to the agreement that set up the ICC. If they have the gut, let them pull out. But I can assure you that there would still be no hidding place for them when the time comes. People like you benefit from continous unbridled stealing by African leaders and all these brutality and genocide been perpetrated against their helpless citizens. One thing people like you failed to realise is that ICC is still better for your African leaders, because nobody is going to give them death sentence despite all their atrocities. A case study is Charles Taylor of Liberia, who is going to spend 50 years in British jail. The other case study is the violent popular revolt that sent Muammar Gaddafi of Libya to his grave with a bullet lodged in his temple. Mister, tell your useless, mindless and corrupt African leaders especially your paymaster, to make their choice before is too late, because the revolution is fast approaching and nobody is going to stop it when it get ashore. I don’t need to be a PhD holder in international politics or crystal ball gazer to know this. African leaders and their agents like you always shout neo-colonialism when called-out on evil deeds been perpetrated on their citizens. Give your lectures on international nonsense to the marines not people like me!.
When Nigerians came out to protest the hike in fuel price in Lagos Jonathan in collaboration with his go-kill-dog IGP and his in-law COAS sent both soldiers and policemen who brutally opened fire on the protesters where some were killed and some injured. During 2011 elections Jonathan in collaboration with his in-law COAS deployed large number of soldiers who imposed curfew in all northern states in order to rig the elections because of a fear that CPC would catch all the northern states. The total human annihilation carried out by Jonathan’s army in the North East where soldiers have killed and robbed many communities and forced them to be refuges in the neighbouring Niger Republic. Most of these people do not want to come back to Nigeria because of the inhuman treatments they’ve experienced in the hands of Jonathan’s army. The brutal activities of the Jonathan’s army in Kano where a procession conveying a bride
was opened fire by the Jonathan’s army and many women and children were killed. Actually there isn’t enough space and time to mention all the criminal offences against humanity which Jonathan has committed but it is for real that he will be taken to that court when he finished his misrule of Nigeria.
It is only a President that can commit such hideous crimes while in office, an ordinary citizen cannot order the army or police to annihilate a race or raze down entire towns or villages. So, it’s no surprise that only barbaric African despots are kicking against it, how come Asians, Europeans, South Americans are in full support of the ICC? Thug leaders like Obasanjo should be behind bars for Zaki Biam massacres and the current mayhem against innocent civilians in the guise of fighting Boko Haram should not go unpunished. No wonder our drunk cleared his throat to lend support for calls to set Bashir of Sudan and those Kenyan criminals free. They might as well call for freedom for Charles Taylor… African leaders are fools!
There may be unfairness and bias against African countries and the African political elites by UNSC and ICC but I doubt that pulling out of the ICC is the best way forward. That African leaders are concerned, should suggest a more critical look. It will be difficult to set up a viable alternative in Africa that will be better than the ICC at the current level of development. There will be greater impunity. The way to go it seems is to continuously ask for reforming ICC across borders in which definitions contextualise development. High levels of poverty, illiteracy and ignorance continue to make most Africans vulnerable – with little or no rights, and in harms way in an increasingly complex environment. ICC and other international borders continue to react after the fact. The world needs to more aggressively pursue human development interventions in Africa negotiating through sovereignty barriers to put Africans in a position to solve their own problems. Until then, current African leaders must reason well beyond their tenure, when their own rights and others can be trampled upon by a successor. It is a vicious cycle that can be broken.
Kenyan President Faced Justice With Help Of Secret Envelope
This is a radio segment. You can hear it at:
Or you can simply read it below.
Kenyan President Faced Justice With Help Of Secret Envelope
by Gregory Warner
October 14, 2013 3:20 AM
Kenya’s deputy president William Ruto is back before the International Criminal Court in The Hague on Monday. He and his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, face charges of instigating and financing deadly tribal violence in Kenya after that country’s disputed 2007 election.
But their cases might never have reached this stage if not for one Kenyan judge and a remarkable disappearing act.
Justice Philip Waki was a Kenyan appellate judge appointed to chair a Commission of Inquiry to find the top political officials who instigated the post-election violence of 2007 and 2008; violence that killed more than 1,100 people.
But in Kenya, Commissions of Inquiry are viewed with skepticism. “Commissions end up being toothless bulldogs,” says Maina Kiai, a human rights advocate and government critic. “They make a lot of noise. Some that have got good reports, they go nowhere.”
Justice Philip Waki didn’t want his report to fall prey to politics, so he made an unexpected move, Instead of publishing the names of the accused, he sealed them in an envelope. To keep justice blind, Judge Waki kept the names in the dark.
Then he ordered that envelope not to be opened until Kenyan politicians established a special court to try these people. If the government of Kenya failed to set up a special tribunal, he ordered, the envelope with its names and the evidence collected by the commission would be handed over to the International Criminal Court.
That’s what happened when Kenya’s parliament failed to set up a tribunal. And at this time, there was wide support in Kenya for the ICC. One survey showed that 80 percent of Kenyans supported the ICC, but politics could be kept out of the justice process only so long.
A Change In Tone
In December of 2010, ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo released the names of the people he had decided to prosecute.
The announcement of the names changed the fault lines of Kenyan domestic politics. The two most powerful people on the list, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, teamed up to run on the same presidential ticket. These were the leaders of two tribes that were murdering each other after the last election. Now they were waving from the windows of the same tour bus.
Most surprising to some Western observers, they won the election, not despite the ICC, but by playing the ICC charges to their advantage. In campaign stops, Kenyatta and Ruto hit the message that the ICC was an instrument of the West to sideline not just the two of them, but both of their tribes, the two biggest tribes in Kenya. To some it sounded like a conspiracy theory, but Maina Kiai says in Kenyan tribal politics, it made sense.
“In this country the presidency has historically been everything,” Kiai says. “You capture the presidency; your people, your constituents get roads, they get water, they get electricity [and] they get good schools they get health care.”
Kenyan voters from Ruto’s Kalenjin and Kenyatta’s Kikuyu tribes could be convinced that if their leaders were sent to jail, then they would be the ones to suffer. After all, Kiai says, if the leaders are made to “pay for their crimes,” then the little people “won’t have access to the little crumbs we get from them in the patronage system.”
This, he says, is the biggest challenge of the international court. It was created in order to hold powerful people accountable in countries without strong systems of justice. But in those countries without strong institutions, where patronage prevails, can the ICC hold an individual leader accountable and not seem to punish all the people under him?
Questioning The International Criminal Court
John Githongo, a prominent activist and former whistle blower on government corruption, says the ICC is at best “a blunt instrument.”
“It doesn’t understand the nuances of Kenyan tribal history and politics,” he said from his office at . “It takes evidence and says, ‘OK we can build a case against these six guys.'”
The six men that the ICC chose to prosecute all came from just two tribes. Kenyans widely believe that other names, from other tribes, were in Judge Waki’s still secret envelope. Githongo says the ICC could have had perfectly sound legal reasons to choose just those six, but in limiting itself to trying people only from those two tribes, he says, the ICC made itself vulnerable to the charge of tribal favoritism.
“Politics is beginning to chip away at ICC support,” says Mwalimu Mati, director of , a government accountability watchdog. He says the recent terrorist attack on Westgate Mall may have chipped away support still further, highlighting for the first time since his election President Kenyatta’s role as commander-in-chief.
“[Commander-in-Chief] is different from the head of your government,” Mati says. “As head of government, his election is disputed by half the country. But as commander-in-chief, you do need someone sitting in that seat. Now the question: do you want your commander-in-chief to go to Holland to attend a trial in November, when in late September, terrorists attacked a mall killing more than 67 people?
“Or put another way: [Is it] justice for the victims or security for me? And that’s what’s happening to people,” he says.
These questions are pulling at Kenyans at the same time. Even as bodies are still being identified in the rubble of Westgate, witnesses back in The Hague have resumed testimony against Kenyatta’s deputy, William Ruto. And as for President Kenyatta, the judges at the ICC denied his petition to delay his own court date to deal with Kenya’s security. His trial begins as scheduled in November.
This past weekend, the political backlash against the ICC went continent-wide. African leaders asked the United Nations Security Council to suspend the case. The head of the African Union even said that the ICC should not be allowed to bring charges against any acting head of state.
The AU instructed Kenyatta to boycott his own trial at The Hague if the U.N. doesn’t answer its request to delay the trial at least a year. A no-show by the president could technically trigger an arrest warrant. But Western nations may be reluctant to antagonize a key partner in the war on terror.
The only country in Africa with millions of stupid and silly people is Kenya>United Arab Emirates has agents stationed in Kenya to supply Arab criminals & fanatics with sex slaves (who recruit foolish jobless youth for sexual exploitation in Dubai qatar etc .Watch this Video and you will see how easy going niggers and kaffirs from kenya are crying hence their sexual organs has been destroyed by these arab sex maniacs >they are slaves whose job is to wipe arab slave owners backs for the whole family without pay or food> Kenya govt is doing nothing , The ambassy is earning millions through these slave cartels>Note Kenyan youth going there as slaves are christians .so arabs explot them properly knowing Kenya nigger govt cannot do anything or say anything for fear of Arab Kings>Watch the Video>Kenyans live in darkness and in an isolated kenya where youth knows nothing
Uhuru Kenyatta is having diarrhea symptons>why is he fearing going to Hague? Is he feeling guilty?>
Uhuru was fully cognisant of this when declared himself available for office knowing full well he had the ICC case ahead of him. Had he listened to his own counsel when he almost quit politics so that he could handle the ICC he wouldn’t be in the predicament he finds himself in today. Nor would he have to drag the whole nation, region, nor continent into sharing the bitter harvest of his personal challenge. Yes it will be humiliating to have a sitting president hauled before the ICC court but even Bill Clinton survived his deposition in the Paula Jones case. There is life after humiliation…provided you plough right through it.
Thanks for your candid answer. Uhuru will be breaking the law if he avoids going to the ICC
Let Uhuru failto appear at the ICC Atakiona cha mtema Kuni!
Calls for Deferral or stop of ICC Trials Inconceivable
16 October 2013/…International Center for Policy and Conflict’s (ICPC) attention is drawn to assertions made by the Deputy President William Ruto, an accused person at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Mr. Ruto wants the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to effect deferral and/or halt the Kenyan case at the ICC to enable him and his co-accused President Uhuru Kenyatta have time to address national and regional security concerns caused by terrorism threats.
This invocation of terrorism threats as reasons to stop or defer criminal proceedings against Mr. Ruto and Mr. Kenyatta is very curious coming shortly after the Westgate attack, whose details the government of Kenya has refused to provide to the public.
The United Nations Security Council and the ICC should vigorously object to these attempts of interference with judicial process at the ICC for the following reasons:
ICC became the crucial court of last resort after the government of Kenya failed to demonstrate will and ability to conduct genuine national criminal proceedings against those responsible for macabre crimes of 2007/08 vicious violence. Six years later, the government has not even commenced proceedings against majority of perpetrators most responsible of leading to impunity gap.
There is no compelling evidence of threat to international peace and security. As such, Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Ruto’s claims of such threats are only being used as negotiating leverage tools.
The Court and the UN Security Council must uphold the principle of equality before the law enshrined both in the Rome Statute and other applicable sources of law and as such, should not interfere with judicial proceedings.
The Court has sufficiently bent backwards to accommodate Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Ruto’s interests. First, the Court allowed them to defend themselves while not being detained. Secondly, the Court has set trial proceedings’ schedule ensuring that at no any time are they both in the Court at the same time. The court extended this unique magnanimity to the duo.
The two accused persons are being prosecuted for individual criminal responsibility and not as state officials. Their claims of official capacity fails to appreciate Articles 2(6) and 143(4) of the Constitution and contradicts clear provisions in the Rome Statute, notably Article 63(1) concerning the accused’s presence at trial and Article 27 concerning the irrelevance of official capacity and the obligation to treat all persons equally. They are asking the United Nations Security Council and the Court, as is the practice in Kenya, to ‘seek caressing of big fish’.
The Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC have already set precedent principle that the sovereign equality of states does not prevent a Head of State from being prosecuted before an international criminal tribunal or court.
There has been serious tampering and/or attempts at interfering with witnesses as highlighted by the Office of the Prosecutor. Any delay or bending of the rules would only see this heinous tampering escalate.
Finally, UNSC and ICC must stand firmly with the victims’ rights to obtain justice. Many continue to suffer in deplorable conditions with little or no government’s attention to guarantee them of reparatory justice leave alone retributive justice.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
15 October 2013
AU Pits Presidential Immunity against Human Security
The Hague/New York—A decision adopted by a poorly attended “extraordinary summit” of the African Union (AU) calling upon the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to postpone the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is a step backwards in the continent’s fight against impunity, the Coalition for the ICC said today.
“The summit was extraordinary mostly in its failure and disappointments,” stated William R. Pace, convenor of the Coalition for the ICC. “For the last five years, anti- ICC African summit declarations have focused on trying to protect sitting presidents from being prosecuted for crimes against humanity committed in armed conflicts on their territories, while ignoring the AU Charter and the millions of victims, mostly
women and children.”
Pre-summit proposals for a “mass withdrawal” from the ICC treaty and for total noncooperation by African states were rejected. Reportedly, less than a third of the 54 AU heads of state or governments attended or were represented by ministers at the summit this past weekend. Many of the 130 African and international NGOs that wrote to African ICC states parties calling on them to reaffirm their support for the Court believe that governments expressed their objections to the purpose of the
meeting by not attending.
The draft resolution distributed by the AU on October 14 calls explicitly for immunity from prosecution for sitting heads of state and senior government officials, and calls for Kenyatta not to appear before the ICC until AU concerns have been addressed
by the UN Security Council and the ICC: “No charges shall be commenced or continued before any international court or
tribunal against any serving Head of State or Government or anybody acting or entitled to act in such capacity during his/her term of office.” Para 9 ii
“Decides that President Uhuru Kenyatta will not appear before the ICC until such time as the concerns raised by the AU and its Member States have been adequately addressed by the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the ICC.” Para 11
The draft resolution [though officials indicted there are three different versions in circulation] also seeks a deferral from the Security Council of the ICC cases against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Kenyan Deputy President William Samoei Ruto by 12 November 2013. The draft resolution calls upon the ICC governing body, the Assembly of State Parties of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ASP), to hold formal discussion of “indictment of African sitting Heads of State and
Government by the ICC and its consequences on peace, stability and reconciliation in African Union Member States”.
It also calls for the ASP to amend the Rome Statute to recognize “African regional Judicial Mechanisms” as acceptable courts to exercise the principle of complementarity in the ICC treaty. The principle of
complementarity holds that national legal systems are primarily responsible foe investigating and prosecuting crimes and that the ICC has jurisdiction only when national systems are unable or unwilling to do so.
Click to access CICC_PR__AU_summit_conclusion_OCT_2013_ENG.pdf
Thursday, October 17, 2013
UN takes tough stance on Uhuru ICC trial
By KEVIN J. KELLEY
More by this Author
Countries that signed the treaty creating the International Criminal Court must continue to honour their obligations, the United Nations has said.
According to spokesman Martin Nesirky, the UN may not respond favourably to the African Union´s insistence that President Uhuru Kenyatta skip the ICC trial.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is said to be monitoring the situation and on Wednesday reiterated that AU member-states ” must continue to engage with the International Criminal Court in a constructive manner.”
It is understood, however, that the UN Security Council will agree to take up the proposal for a one-year deferral of President Kenyatta´s trial.
The 15-member council is expected to consider the request under a section of the ICC treaty that allows for a deferral on the basis of a perceived threat to international peace and security.
Sources say Kenya´s allies in the Security Council will argue that the Westgate Mall terror attack constitutes such a threat.
They will further argue that President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto must be in a position to counter such threats without having to juggle answering to charges at a court in Europe.
United States, the most powerful member of the Security Council, is yet to state its view on the AU´s call for a deferral and for sitting African heads of State be declared immune to ICC prosecutions.
However, the US has in the past opposed moves to defer or terminate the cases against Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto.
Look at his eyes!
Ati Uhuru case will be suspended>Hoax from Gutter Press run by Jubilee Lackeys to give uhuru supporters fake information >Dis-Iformation being done and preached By Uhuru Kenyatta FM Kasuku media that brainwshes Central mts Zombie minds Collectively!
AU (led my Ethiopian Chimpanzeehas no Power to infruence ) Civilized western Powers how to Suspend a criminal Kenya Dictator UhuruTo from facing Justice) The true of the matter is here>
From the same two judges, the third dissenting. Expect this to go the way Ruto’s has: request for leave to appeal, request for suspensive effect, etc.
Read more: http://jukwaa.proboards.com/thread/8746/alert-uhuru-gets-presence-excusal#ixzz2i5apz3Ml
Westgate Terrorist attack was an Inside Job to evade the ICC!http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7Ptpr8XMM_c#t=77