East African Center For Law & Justice


Kenya's Shuttle Diplomacy Challenges ICC Plan

Despite the fact that most Kenyans do not want their money, in form of tax to be wasted by the government in the name of 'shuttle diplomacy to the Security Council', the government has vowed to push on with it, in an attempt to seek a deferral of the International Criminal Court cases. This decision comes despite plans by the US to turn it down.

Government spokesman Alfred Mutua said that although the US had maintained its opposition to the motion, the high level delegation led by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, would carry on with the mission. This is amid claims that Kenyan authorities had not yet received official communication from the US indicating their intention. This decision comes after the government recently issued a statement, signed by Attorney General Amos Wako, Acting Foreign Affairs Minister George Saitoti and Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo, saying that it would challenge the ICC process.

Dr. Mutua added that the government's decision to challenge the admissibility of the ICC processes as well as the Court's jurisdiction was based on consultations between the President and Prime Minister, this was done with the knowledge that if any permanent member of the Security Council rejects a request, the entire application is thrown out regardless of any substantive resolution by the other members.

He also defended the government from accusations of promoting impunity saying it was only concerned with protecting the rights of its citizens. He argued that even if the six Kenyan suspects each bore individual responsibility for the crimes preferred against them, Kenya was obligated to protect them. "If you are accused in the line of duty, then the government has the responsibility to defend you. You can't shield yourself because we are not horses with blinds and the ICC does not prosecute governments; it takes individuals who operate within a government," he said.

The government spokesman further argued that the fact that Kenya had a new constitution increased the need for the country to question the mechanisms of the ICC. He said that the country was committed to enhancing reforms.

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