Kenya wants temporary relief from ICC

Oct. 23, 2013 at 11:31 AM
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NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Kenyan leaders need relief from prosecution at the ICC to review national security challenges at home, Kenya's envoy to the United Nations said.

Kenyan Vice President William Ruto, national broadcast director Joshua Sang and President Uhuru Kenyatta are facing charges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. The ICC suspects they played a role in post-election violence that left thousands of Kenyans dead in 2007.

Macharia Kamau, Kenya's ambassador to the United Nations, said the ICC should postpone the cases for a year, The Daily Nation newspaper in Kenya reported Wednesday. She said a one-year relief would give Kenyan leaders time "to consider how best to respond to the threat to international peace and security in the context of the Kenya situation."

The African Union has raised similar concerns, saying the trial for sitting leaders undermines their ability to uphold their constitutional obligations.

The ICC said it was reviewing Ruto's appeal to stay in Kenya while his trial proceeds at The Hague. A decision is expected from an appeals chamber by the end of the week.

More than 60 people were killed when terrorist group al-Shabaab, which has ties to al-Qaida, raided the upscale Westgate shopping center in Nairobi last month.

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