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Mutula warns UN unlikely to change position on ICC deferral push

BUSINESS
By | March 22nd 2011

By David Ochami and Peter Opiyo

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo says it is unlikely the UN Security Council will change the position it took at the informal meeting with Kenya over the International Criminal Court cases.

He, therefore, advised that the Government to challenge the admissibility of the cases before April 1, noting that UNSC is unlikely to change its position. "Normally when you have met in such an informal session, you don’t change your position at the formal meeting," said Mutula.

His position contradicts that of Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, who accused the media of dwelling on the informal meeting, rather than focus on the formal meeting, saying things might change at the formal meeting.

Last week an informal sitting of the UN Security failed to accept Kenya’s quest for deferral.

No ground

France, the UK and US have opposed Kenya’s deferral bid saying the country has no ground to seek the deferral.

At the same time, the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) will unveil its position on Kenya’s failed bid to defer International Criminal Court (ICC) investigations in Kenya through the UN Security Council.

A statement from the Igad secretariat in Djibouti said yesterday that the organisation’s Executive Secretary, Mahboub Maalim, would disclose its position "on the deferral request of the ICC cases by Kenya" this morning in Nairobi, besides other emerging issues in the region.

Igad was created over two decades ago to co-ordinate response to drought, desertification and locusts, and later transformed to mediate regional conflicts. Under the mandate of UN and African Union, Igad through Kenya, mediated the Sudanese and Somalia conflicts whose product include the expected new nation in South Sudan, which Mahboub will also discuss today. Out of all of Igad’s members, only Kenya and Uganda have also signed the Rome Statute forming the ICC. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia have not signed the Statute.

Eritrea has frozen its membership of Igad, claiming the regional authority has been hijacked by archrival Ethiopia.

Support bid

Most of Igad’s members therefore oppose the ICC, and are expected to support Kenya’s action against the world court. Mahboub will also meet acting Foreign PS Patrick Wamoto and Assistant minister Richard Onyonka. The latter has been involved in the deferral crusade.

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