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Kenya recalls envoys for confidential brief

Updated Thursday, February 10th 2011 at 00:00 GMT +3

By Beauttah Omanga and Ben Agina

President Kibaki has capped his sustained diplomatic offensive against the International Criminal Court by summoning envoys in strategic Western capitals to Nairobi for a secret brief on his deferral strategy.

The recall is aimed at detailing the diplomats on how to win over the countries they serve in to back Kenya’s push for a deferral of its cases at The Hague, through the UN Security Council.

It builds on the Sh31million shuttle diplomacy Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka said the President assigned him, to rally African countries behind Kenya’s push for one-year deferral of the cases ‘Ocampo Six’ may face.

The Standard established that Kenya’s Ambassadors and High Commissioners to European, Asian, Latin American States and America, as well as select African countries, would be tasked with ensuring the Government succeeds in securing the deferrals.

Some of the envoys are already in town and are scheduled to attend two meetings next week. The first meeting will be at the Foreign Affairs Ministry headquarters, while the second one will be held at Harambee House where President Kibaki’s offices are located.

We could not, however, establish whether Kibaki will attend the Harambee House meeting or other Government officials will make presentations.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Patrick Wamoto confirmed several envoys have been summoned to Nairobi for high-level meeting but added the meetings were "routine".

Wider agenda

He also admitted that the ICC issue would be on the agenda because it was a Foreign Affairs issue that was "alive".

"We have a wider agenda for the ambassadors…as you know ICC is a live issue and naturally we will deal with it," explained Wamoto on phone.

The move is aimed at influencing other nations outside Africa to buy Kenya’s argument for the cases against the "Ocampo Six" pending at The Hague be delayed for a year, to allow establishment of a local tribunal competent to handle post-election violence crimes.

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