Kenya ICC picture is not what we think
18 November 2013, 15:15
From the start of the ICC trial process, it was destined that the West would stand their ground on the cases facing the president, his deputy and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang.
Although the government fought hard for the two principals, the efforts have been washed away by a simple abstinence from voting by the major powers in the UN Security Council round table.
Questions have been raised as to why the West is hell bent on ensuring the cases go forward. What exactly is their interest in these cases? What do they stand to gain or lose if the cases proceed as scheduled or not? What are their stakes exactly?
As a people, we might have been asking all the wrong questions. We might have been staring at the wrong picture all together. What if the West has other reasons behind what we have all been thinking? What if they have no motive at all other than good intentions? What if the whole dynamics of these cases are not build upon the West but rather between political rivals who wanted to safeguard their interests when the ICC hammer came falling?
Ever since the post election violence that saw hundreds of thousands of people displaced and thousands others slaughtered, the West has been on our back as a country to bring the perpetrators to justice and heal the nation. We consequently embarked on a mission to expose those suspected to be behind the atrocious killings and inhumane acts but our efforts and dedication were derailed when the then parliament threw out a motion to create a tribunal to try the suspects locally. The then President, Mwai Kibaki, and his co-Principal, Raila Odinga, had the plan mapped out and the bill to form a tribunal was all that stood between Kenya and the ICC.
The moment the August House threw out the bill, it was over for the suspects whose names were said to be in the ‘Waki envelope’. Western states immediately read into the issue and drew conclusions that the powerful people who had envisioned their political careers being thrown in a limbo by the tribunal were not for justice to be served. At that point, our fate as a nation was sealed. It was ICC all the way and nothing would stop the heavily backed court to start trials against the suspected perpetrators.
Names were mentioned in public by the former prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, and the process to get justice for the victims was officially launched. From the day Luis Ocampo took over the process, there was nothing that would stop the court from trying the most powerful of the powerful in this country. As usual, anyone in the thick of things tries to get ahead and save themselves from the mess and that is what the president and his deputy saw best. With the full backing of the country, the two stepped up their bid to ascend to power and cut the ICC chains lose.
However, even after ascending to office, their ability to direct the process in their favor is no walk in the park. It all started with the deputy making rounds within Africa to marshal up support from African states that would enable them to cut lose the chains. Then the president went to China and Russia in a bid to lure the so-called veto power countries to stand behind him. What they never planned was how to woo the West because that is where their problems lay. The West, through their various diplomats, had already warned that ICC inductees would not smoothen ties between Nairobi and London, New York and Paris but rather it would call for only essential contact.
All in all, the UN Security Council has declined Kenya’s request for a deferral. That decision is speculated to have punctured AU’s voice bubble on one side and still inflated it on another. Analysts have been on record saying the AU has now gotten an even greater task but still alluding to the fact that the AU is ready to send a clear message to the ICC and the world that it should never again be taken for granted. Decisions are likely to be made that could present the AU as a power bloc around the world. But let us wait and see because even the English say, “only time will tell.”
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