Sunday, September 19, 2010

ICC in the Media, Update #5

As we mentioned last week, the ICC recently opened an office in Kenya to facilitate its ongoing investigation into the 2007-8 post-election violence. Although only two weeks have passed since this show of support for the ICC, a prominent member of Kenya's government has spoken out against continuing to support the ICC case. Kenya's Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo has publicly stated that, in light of the new constitution, the ICC should "keep off" Kenya. He has argued that the new constitution provides for a new police and judiciary, which would be capable of serving justice for the election violence domestically. However, many have come forward criticizing Kilonzo's statements. Some say that the reforms Mutula is relying on will take at least several years to implement, and this is unacceptable to the victims who have been waiting years for justice. Others reply that Kenya is bound to cooperate with the ICC due to its status as a state party, which it must respect. Lobby groups have responded that Kilonzo's stance is a "betrayal of Kenya's commitment to end impunity for human rights atrocities." Others wonder whether such institutions, when formed, would be credible enough to prosecute those responsible.

In other news, on September 17, 2010 the Arab League backed the African Union's resolution not to comply with the ICC arrest warrant against Omar al-Bashir of Sudan. The ICC and international community haver yet to comment on this development. Photo Credit: Daily Nation.

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