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Govt pledges more cooperation with ICC

13 August 2015, 08:10

Nairobi - The government on Wednesday pledged to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying it believes in the rule of law and international justice.

President Uhuru Kenyatta who had been indicted by The Hague-based court but was terminated in March also appealed to the court not to focus on justifying its existence at the expense of its core mandate of delivering international justice and ensuring peace and reconciliation.

"If Kenya believed in impunity, it would not have submitted to the courts as it did. We have equally all along cooperated with the Court because we are committed to justice at all levels," Kenyatta said during a meeting with Sidiki Kaba, President of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in Nairobi.

Kenyatta said it was due to cooperation that he and Deputy President William Ruto voluntarily submitted to the Court when they were required to do so following the 2007/2008 post-election violence in the country.

"African countries have expressed concern over whose agenda ICC is pushing, but despite all that, we have never failed to cooperate with the court," said Kenyatta in a statement issued after the meeting.

Kenyatta and Ruto, who were on opposite sides of the political divide in 2007/2008 election, are accused of organizing attacks against one another's supporters. They were elected in March 2013 on a joint ticket.

The two, together with journalist Joshua Sang, are not subject to arrest warrants, having cooperated with the court until now, and have pledged to continue voluntarily appearing before the ICC.

During Wednesday's meeting, Kenyatta said the objective of the court must be to bring people together and ensure justice is served but not to cause more problems. He pointed out that Kenya and other African countries played a key role in the creation of the Court and the Rome Statute.

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He also emphasized that Kenya has fully complied with the requirements of ICC, including the implementation of a progressive Constitution that has entrenched justice and ensured democracy and the rule of law.

Kaba, who also delivered a special message to President Kenyatta from Senegalese President Macky Sall, said Africa provides the most important team to the ASP and its concerns must be heard and addressed.

He assured President Kenyatta that Kenya's and Africa's issues will be accorded the attention they deserve during his tenure as the ASP President.

Kaba, a former Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seal of the Republic of Senegal, was elected in December 2014 by the 13th Session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute of the ICC as the President of the assembly for the next three years.

He is the first holder of the ASP office to visit Kenya.

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- Xinhua


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