Annan tells Kenya to respect judiciary's independence
07 December 2011, 17:05
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Former U.N.
chief Kofi Annan has urged Kenya to respect the judiciary's
independence, after political leaders condemned a Nairobi court ruling
calling for the arrest of Sudan's president.
Last week the Kenyan court ordered the government to arrest
President Omar al-Bashir if he sets foot in Kenya, and hand him over to
the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague where he is wanted
on genocide charges.
The decision, which came more than a year after Kenya failed to
arrest Bashir during a visit, led Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula to
call it a "judgment in error". He vowed to appeal the court order and
flew to Khartoum to contain the fallout.
The row comes as Kenya awaits a decision by the ICC on whether to
confirm charges of crimes against humanity against six high-profile
Kenyans, including two contenders in next year's elections.
"I have a feeling people need to get used to the new system. You
have a new system with suppression of powers, an independent judiciary,
executive and legislature, and it's new," Annan told Reuters on the
sidelines of a conference on national dialogue and reconcilation late on
"And so when the court asserts its independence, some people who
are used to the old way of doing business still think it's business as
usual ... I don't think you can mix law, diplomacy, politics," said
Annan, who mediated an end to violence that left 1,220 people dead after
Kenya's December 2007 election.