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ICC dismisses AU's plea to halt Kenyan cases

28 May 2013, 07:54

The Hague - The International Criminal Court on Monday denied an African Union charge that it was racist and said it would not respond to an AU call for crimes against humanity trials facing President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy to be referred back to Kenya.

"The International Criminal Court will not be reacting to African Union resolutions," ICC spokesperson Fadi El Abdallah told AFP after the pan-continental bloc urged the Kenyans' trials be taken out of the ICC's hands.

AU chair and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn had earlier on Monday accused the ICC at an AU summit in Addis Ababa of being involved in "race hunting".

"African leaders have come to a consensus that the [ICC] process that has been conducted in Africa has a flaw," Desalegn told reporters. "The intention was to avoid any kind of impunity... but now the process has degenerated to some kind of race hunting."

The Hague-based ICC, set up in 2002 to try the world's worst crimes, is frequently accused of bias because all of its cases involve Africans.

Spokesperson Abdallah referred to the standard denial response to such accusations, which notes that four out of eight situations under investigation in Africa were referred to the court by the countries themselves.

Also, 43 African countries have signed the ICC's founding Rome Statute, which 34 have ratified, "making Africa the most heavily represented region in the court's membership," the ICC statement said.

African leaders in Ethiopia were on Monday expected to pass the resolution calling for the ICC trials of Kenyan leaders, including President Uhuru Kenyatta and his vice president, to be referred back to Kenya.


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