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Kenya seeks to determine text of ICC resolution

By Ally Jamah | November 25th 2015

Kenyan officials have heightened their push to influence the final text of the resolutions of Assembly of State Parties (ASP) of the International Criminal Court.

Yesterday, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed presented to the 18-member ASP Bureau the text that Kenya wants reflected in the final omnibus resolution of the ASP.

The text that comes out of ASP bureau is expected to be forwarded to the final plenary of all State Parties of the ICC and deliberated on. Kenya's request can either be adopted or dismissed.

The text proposed by Kenya partly reads: "The assembly reaffirms that the intent of the 12th ASP .....was that the amendment to Rule 68....would not apply in matters already before the court. Rule 68 was adopted, entered in force and took effect from November 27, 2013."

It remains to be seen if Kenya's proposed text will be adopted by the bureau or not. The bureau is made up of 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.

A previous attempt by Kenya to convince the majority of ICC members to support amending Rule 68 which allows the use for recanted evidence failed.

Ms Amina, Defense Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo and ambassadors Kamau Macharia and Rose Makena represented Kenya at the ASP Bureau Working Group, which is working on the text to be submitted to the plenary on Thursday.

Yesterday, Kenya had an opportunity to lobby members of ICC during an informal session on the final omnibus resolution that will be adopted by the ASP on Thursday. A similar informal session is slated for today.

On her part, ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda released a statement yesterday dismissing the claim that the court is too focused on African countries while giving a free pass to developed nations.

"Words such as 'biased', 'targeted' and 'politicised' dominate the public and media narrative. But dramatic headlines obscure the truth and distort the public understanding of what we do," she said.

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