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Kenya lobbies for 'friendly' resolutions at ICC

THE HAGUE TRIAL
By Ally Jamah and Wilfred Ayaga | November 24th 2015

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed yesterday intensified the push to influence resolutions of the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) Bureau on the International Criminal Court (ICC) case against Deputy President William Ruto.

The CS attended a meeting of representatives of African countries to continue her lobbying efforts, as the bureau prepares to deliver its recommendations to the plenary.

The meeting with the Africa group discussed the omnibus resolution that will contain the outcome decisions of the ASP bureau.

"The particular focus of the meeting was the requests to the ASP by Kenya and South Africa. We resolved to step up engagements as the drafting of the omnibus resolution gets underway," she posted on her Twitter account.

The CS also attended the ASP bureau meeting, which is currently drafting the final resolutions that will be tabled at the plenary for discussion and decision.

Kenya is seeking to convince member states to support her position regarding the twin issues of reversing the application of the controversial Rule 68 on the use of prior recorded testimony and the audit of ICC witnesses.

ASP bureau members are Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Japan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Romania, Samoa, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Uganda and the United Kingdom.

The report of the 18 member bureau, to which Kenya's matter was referred, is expected before the plenary today.

Kenya is trying to build consensus around her agenda on the trial of Mr Ruto and journalist Joshua Arap Sang, but it is unlikely that she will back down in her core demands, including an audit of witnesses that appeared at the ICC in the two cases.

During discussions in the plenary on Friday, most European countries argued that reversing the rule would sound a death knell for the independence of The Hague-based court.

The position, which was also backed by civil society organisations, angered Kenya's delegation, and her backers within the African Union.

Senate Leader of Majority Kithure Kindiki expressed disappointment that most of the states that opposed the Kenyan position "did not address the real issues", which included a clarification of the intention of Rule 68.

"Most of those who spoke against our position at the plenary were not addressing the real issues. Kenya is not seeking a review of the rule. We want ASP to clarify the intention of that resolution," said Prof Kindiki.

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