By VPPS in Addis, 23 January 2011 — Kenya has secured the support of the African Union Commission and Ethiopia in its bid to have the International Criminal Court defer the case against six Kenyans at the International Criminal Court and have them tried locally.
AU Commission chair Jean Ping endorsed Kenya’s request, saying it is within the realm of the rights of all ICC member states.
Kenya’s Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka has been on a tour of African states that the government wants to back the country’s request.
Mr Ping said it was right for Kenya to begin its request for a deferral at the AU even though the request is intended for the UN Security Council.
He noted that the ICC cases were as a result of an AU-appointed and mediated process. “The AU Commission will therefore support the request,” said Mr Ping.
Kenya’s request will also be discussed on the sidelines of next week’s AU summit in Addis Ababa. Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has agreed to convene a meeting of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) on the sidelines of the summit.
Mr Zenawi is the current chairman of Igad and the meeting will be held to take a common position on Kenya’s request for a deferral of the ICC cases facing post-election violence suspects.
The resolution from Igad meeting will then be presented to the Summit. Mr Ping and Mr Zenawi were speaking separately in Addis Ababa, when they held talks with Mr Musyoka.
(Photo Accused Kenyan Vice Preasident Kalozno Musyoka ( left) with Meles Zenawi.)