Monday, January 17, 2011

ICC in the Media, Update #18

For the past several weeks the media has primarily focused on the situation in Kenya. The ICC Prosecutor's naming of six potential perpetrators has stirred a great deal of controversy within Kenya and internationally. Reportedly members of Parliament passed a motion in late December asking the government withdraw its membership from the Rome Statute. Thusfar, neither the President nor Prime Minister has confirmed that they will withdraw. This move has attracted criticism within Parliament, Kenya and the international community. However, Article 127 of the Rome Statute stipulates that the withdrawal process takes over a year, during which time Kenya may be required to cooperate with existing investigations, according to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. Furthermore, a new poll has indicated six out of ten Kenyans want the ICC's involvement in post-election violence to continue. Several members of the government appear to have urged other countries to withdraw from the ICC, and are reportedly seeking African Union backing on Kenya's withdrawal. The government has not yet filed a motion asking the other countries within the AU to break their ties with the ICC, and it is not clear whether it intends to. In any event such a motion would take up to 60 days to be admitted for discussion. In early January Henry Kosgey, one of Kenya's named perpetrators, resigned from his position as Industrialization Minister after several corruption allegations. In other news,Callixte Mbarushimana, wanted for war crimes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will reportedly be transferred from France to the ICC by the end of January. After he is transferred to the Hague his trial can commence. Photo credit: Voice of America.

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