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Kenya regrets UNSC move on not deferring cases at ICC

18 November 2013, 11:00

Nairobi - The government on Friday regretted the decision by some members of the UN Security Council not to vote for the deferral of the Kenya case at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"Kenya regrets failure of important members of the UN Security Council to have due consideration of Kenya's critical role in stabilizing the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes regions, and their reckless abdication of global leadership," the ministry of foreign ministry said in a statement.

The statement came after the country failed to win the UNSC's approval for a one-year deferral of the ICC cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

A resolution proposed by 13 African nations and Azerbaijan was not adopted after eight of the 15 member council abstained from voting while 7 others voted in favor of the deferral.

President Kenyatta and Ruto are accused of crimes against humanity for their alleged role in post- election violence in 2007 to 2008, which left at least 1,100 people dead. The two leaders were elected into office in March.

"Kenya wishes to thank the seven members of the Security Council who voted for a deferral and is particularly grateful to Rwanda, Togo and Morocco, the three African members on the Security Council, for their exemplary leadership," the ministry said.

The statement thanked China and Azerbaijan who, during their stewardship of the Security Council, have been "professional and sensitive to the African Union agenda."

The ministry said the outcome of the council meeting was not unexpected considering that consistently some of the members of the Security Council, who hold veto powers, had shown contempt for the African position.

"The same members and five others chose to abstain, showing clear cowardice in the face of a critical African matter, and a lack of appreciation of peace and security issues they purport to advocate," it said.

"The Security Council has failed the African continent, which will have to make its own judgment in the coming days and weeks about how it wishes to engage with the Security Council, which obviously does not believe the voices of more than one quarter of its members is significant enough to warrant its serious and purposive attention," it said.

It said the pan-African body's request to the UNSC included its key resolutions at the Special Summit on the ICC.

"The important one for the Security Council to note was the one that categorically says that no sitting Heads of State or Government may appear before the ICC," the foreign ministry said.

The statement said the outcome of Friday's vote demonstrates that the UNSC does not serve the interests of a majority of its members and is clearly in need of urgent reform.

"It cannot be that a few countries take decisions that go against reason and wisdom in a matter so important to nearly one billion Africans," the statement said. 

- Xinhua


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