U.S. explains vote that keeps Kenyan case at ICC

Nov. 15, 2013 at 12:46 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said Friday a war crimes case against Kenyan leaders should proceed at the International Criminal Court.

The U.N. Security Council dismissed an effort to delay the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto before the ICC.

"The United States abstained on this vote because we believe that the concerns raised by Kenya regarding the International Criminal Court proceedings against President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto are best addressed within the framework of the court and its assembly of states parties, and not through a deferral mandated by the Security Council," Power said in a statement.

Seven of the 15 members of the Security Council voted in favor a resolution to postpone the trials. Eight others abstained. Resolutions before the Council need nine votes in favor and no vetoes to pass.

Supporters of the resolution considered Friday, including Kenyan and African leaders, wanted the trial delayed by a year so Kenyatta and Ruto could deal with national security issues stemming from a September terrorist attack in Nairobi, which left more than 60 people dead.

Kenyatta, Ruto and national broadcaster director Joshua Sang face war crimes charges at the ICC in The Hague, Netherlands, for playing a role in post-election violence in Kenya that left more than 1,000 people dead in 2007-08.

"We believe that justice for the victims of that violence is critical to the country's long-term peace and security," Power said.

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