Posts Tagged Kenya
For those who are looking for it, the link to watch the ICC Prosecutor’s Press Conference regarding the investigations and prosecutions in the situation in Kenya is the following: http://livestream.xs4all.nl/icc5.asx
The ICC website seems to be down at the moment of writing, but hopefully they’ll get it fixed within the 8 next minutes.
UPDATE: The ICC website is still down, but the livestream is alive and kicking.
UPDATE II: At 12.34 CET, the conference is now over.
UPDATE III: For those who missed the Conference but wish to listen to it nonetheless, RNW has made it available at the following address: http://www.rnw.nl/international-justice/article/ocampo-names-kenyan-suspects.
For some reason, this story keeps catching my interest. Here is the latest development (excerpt):
A Kenyan official today confirmed that the summit will take place in Addis Ababa to prevent Bashir’s presence from overshadowing the meeting.
“We don’t want to take our eyes off the ball. This is a very crucial meeting and we want to extract a commitment from the main actors in Juba and Khartoum that they will respect the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and that they will play their role in ensuring the referendum goes ahead peacefully,” acting Foreign affairs Permanent Secretary Patrick Wamoto was quoted as saying by the ’Daily Nation’ newspaper.
Wamoto said that invitations for the summit in Addis Ababa went out in President Kibaki’s name because Kenya chairs the subcommittee on Sudan in the IGAD.
He further said Kenya would have preferred that the meeting be held in Naivasha where the North-South peace agreement was signed but the risk that Bashir’s presence would provide the main focus of international attention during the meeting forced a rethink.
Needless to say, I do not miss Moses Wetangula.
Many thanks to Uli Zumsande for sending me this via Twitter.
Previous posts on the subject:
- A Rapid Follow-Up to the al-Bashir in Kenya Saga
- The al-Bashir in Kenya Saga Continues
- An Intolerable Affront
So al-Bashir did not go to Kenya today. Instead, the IGAD summit that was initially supposed to take place in Nairobi will take place instead at a date still to be determined in Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia, which is not a State Party to the Rome Statute and therefore is not bound to execute the arrest warrants. At the insistence of the United States, Security Council Resolution 1593, which referred the situation of Darfur to the International Criminal Court, makes that very clear at paragraph 2 (emphasis is mine):
2. Decides that the Government of Sudan and all other parties to the conflict in Darfur, shall cooperate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosecutor pursuant to this resolution and, while recognizing that States not party to the Rome Statute have no obligation under the Statute, urges all States and concerned regional and other international organizations to cooperate fully;
Kenya did respond to Pre-Trial Chamber I’s request (see my previous post) by merely stating that there was no plan for the Sudanese President to come, which was, once the summit was moved to Ethiopia, true.
There’s not much to say here, and perhaps the saga ends here. The Pre-Trial Chamber’s “warning shot” probably did, despite (former) Kenyan Foreign Minister Wetangula’s claims, dissuade Kenya from holding the summit and receiving Bashir.
I did particularly enjoy Mr. Wetangula’s arguments in that article, not only claiming that Kenya did not push for the summit to be held in Ethiopia because of the ICC Judges’ request (to be fair, only the Kenyan authorities know for certain, but that’s very unlikely), but also said some pretty ludicrous things, such as “We have no demands from the ICC and we are not the arresting agents of the ICC so that is not an issue” (oh, really? Just imagine what people like Moses Wetangula would say if ICC investigators conducted an arrest à la Eichmann), and “ICC does not have a hold on Kenya, we are a signatory to a treaty establishing it so we cannot live under fear over a treaty that we are just a party to” (to be honest, I’m not really sure what that means).
As for the “former” in front of Foreign Minister, Mr. Wetangula resigned last Wednesday over allegations of corruption.
The International Criminal Court, in a press release published today, announced that Pre-Trial Chamber I (PTC I) rendered a decision in which it requested that Kenya informs the Chamber by the 29 October about “any problem which would impede or prevent the arrest of Omar al-Bashir in the event that he visits their country on 30 October 2010.”
There has been rumors of late about a potential visit by the President of Sudan, subject to two different arrest warrants issued by the ICC for having allegedly committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur, to Kenya again in order to attend an Inter-governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) summit on Sudan, which is supposed to take place on 30 October.
The Court, which was taken by surprise and humiliated in consequence when Bashir was allowed by the Kenyan authorities to visit the country at the end of August 2010 without being arrested – despite the fact that Kenya is a State Party to the Rome Statute (and a situation country to boot) – appears this time to take all necessary precautions to make sure that the same problem does not happen twice. Read the rest of this entry »
Cate and I have been monitoring this since the news that Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir would be visiting Kenya today broke yesterday evening (Central European Time), and have been tweeting about it since (follow us @cminall and @xrauscher_, respectively), but I was holding out to see what was going to happen today, and notably what the Court’s reaction would be, before posting. Now that the day is coming to an end, and the Court has reacted, I have no more reasons to wait.
As you may or you may not yet know, Sudanese President Al-Bashir made a surprise visit to Kenya today as Kenya celebrated the signing into law of its new Constitution, and was able to enter and leave the country untouched. Omar Al-Bashir is indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity since March 2009, and for genocide – the crime of crimes – since last July.
By inviting him into the country and not arresting him, Kenya failed to meet its international obligations, and this on two different planes:
First of all, the situation in Sudan was referred to the International Criminal Court by the United Nations Security Council. In its Resolution 1593 referring the situation in Sudan to the ICC, the Security Council, at §2,
“recognizing that States not party to the Rome Statute have no obligation under the Statute, urges all States and concerned regional and other international organizations to cooperate fully;“
It could be very well interpreted that Kenya is in breach with its obligations as a UN member. However, some could argue that the use of the word “urge”, preceded with the “recognizing that States not party to the Rome Statute have no obligation…” (thank you John Bolton for that one), makes it non-binding. Read the rest of this entry »