Former VP Kalonzo Musyoka led Cabinet ministers in worldwide push to bring ICC cases to Kenya

 
By The STANDARD ON SUNDAY TEAM

Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka led Cabinet ministers and top Grand Coalition Government officials on an unsuccessful mission to defer the Kenya cases at the ICC.

The former VP was to later explain that his mission to seek deferral of Kenya cases at the ICC was not intended to save the (then) six post-election violence suspects from facing justice.

He said his efforts were aimed at safeguarding the sovereignty of the country and ensure proper investigations were carried out to guarantee even those not included in the ICC list were brought to book.

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“This is not to say that we have not taken into consideration the victims of (2008) post-election violence. We are concerned with fair justice for both the suspects and the internally displaced people. We are doing this for Kenya,” he said during a visit to Lari constituency. Kalonzo rooted for a local tribunal saying it would also cater for the rights of post-election violence victims.

Below is the shuttle diplomacy at a glance:

SEPTEMBER 2010

Kalonzo kicked off the first round of the shuttle diplomacy that took him to over 10 countries including Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Gabon, Nigeria, South Africa, Malawi, Libya, Egypt and Zambia in a period of two months.

The intention of the shuttle diplomacy was to win support from individual heads of state, which would culminate in a joint position of the African Union in support of Kenya’s request for deferral of cases at the ICC.

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Trade Minister also Chirau Mwakwere set off to Botswana, Swaziland and Zimbabwe with the same message on a charm offensive seeking support for Kenya’s position.

MARCH 4 AND 7, 2011

Mwakwere visits Bosnia and Lebanon to drum up support for Kenya’s request to the UN Security Council for a deferral of the cases at the ICC.

Agriculture minister Dr Sally Kosgei briefs three African members of the Security Council — Nigeria, Gabon and South Africa — on reforms already underway to enable Kenya carry out credible local prosecutions including the promulgation of a new constitution that enabled the creation of a reformed and independent Judiciary.

Kalonzo and an entourage including former ministers Mwakwere, Prof George Saitoti (now deceased), Njeru Githae, Prof Hellen Sambili, assistant minister Richard Onyonka and senior Foreign Affairs officials arrive at UN headquarters in New York. They go straight into a meeting with the President of the Security Council Li Baodong of China.

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Li confirms that the Security Council had received Kenya’s request for the deferral of the post-election violence cases and that the request had been circulated to members for consideration.

Kalonzo explained that Kenya had no intention of pulling out of the ICC nor was it seeking to assist those named by the ICC prosecutor to escape justice.

He explained that the government wanted the UN Security Council to consider the African Union resolution endorsing Kenya’s request for a 12-month deferral to allow the country time complete reforms and embark on local trials.

March 8-9, 26-27 2011

Dr Kosgei and Prof Sambili head to Brazil for further lobbying.

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Kalonzo meets President Ali Bongo of Gabon (a member of the UN Security Council) for further lobbying for a two-pronged approach through either deferral under Article 16 or referral under article 19 of the Rome Statute.

The former Vice President jets back on March 27 from the two-day mission to West African nations where he also met then AU chairman President Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea. Kalonzo briefed  Nguema on the ICC special mission. On arrival Musyoka expressed confidence that the UN Security Council decision would favour Kenya to conduct the trials of post-election violence cases at home. Former Finance minister Njeru Githae and assistant minister Wilfred Ombui accompanied the VP.

He explained that he had gone to brief the AU chair after Kenya had presented to the UN Security Council the resolution of the AU Heads of State and Government Summit endorsing the country’s request for deferral of the cases. 

He said he had got commitment from both Nguema and Bongo who were categorical that Kenya should be supported to start a local mechanism to try the perpetrators of the 2008 post-election violence.

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ICC Kalonzo Muyoka, Shuttle Diplomacy ICC referral