The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 18 November 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on November 18, 2013

 

The Rendon Group Snapshot Report

(18NOV13)

Each week The Rendon Group Alert Team will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent.  The Snapshot Report is intended to provide a summary of events on a given issue over the past week as well as a sample of experts who cover that issue.  The Rendon Group does not endorse the positions on issues that the listed experts hold nor does The Rendon Group hold a position on any of the topics chosen for the Snapshot Reports.  As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request.  For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.

 
Kenya and the International Criminal Court

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, are facing a trial by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on accusations of fomenting ethnic violence following Kenya’s 2007 elections. Approximately 1,200 people were killed in the post-election upheaval. Ruto’s trial began in October, while Kenyatta’s is slated to start on February 7. Both men have denied the accusations, and have called on the UN to postpone the trial in order to let them deal with the aftermath of a terrorist attack by Somali militants. The UN has refused to postpone the case.

News Summary of events relating to Kenya and the ICC during the week of 11NOV-18NOV

  • On 12NOV, African countries were pressing for a vote on their draft resolution (AFP)
  • On 13NOV, African countries called on the UN to suspend the trial of Kenyan leaders. (AFP)
  • On 15NOV, the UN Security Council rejected a delay of the trial. (AP)
  • On 15NOV, the African Union expressed disappointment of the UN’s decision. (AFP)
  • On 15NOV, China voiced regret over the UN’s refusal to delay the trial. (Xinhua)
  • On 16NOV, the US explained its abstention from the UN Security Council vote.
    • It stated that Kenya’s concerns were best addressed within the framework of the courts, not through a deferral mandated by the Security Council. (The Standard)
    • On 17NOV, Deputy Kenyan President Ruto accused the political opposition in Kenya of trying to undermine President Kenyatta’s ability with negative articles in the press about the ICC trial. (The Standard)

Sample of Twitter handles regarding Kenya and the ICC

@PMugoMugo – Conflict analyst based in Nairobi

@m_mumo – Editorial Director of Kenyan radio station Capital FM

@t_mcconnell – Tristen McConnell, journalist based in Nairobi

@liz_evenson – Senior international justice counsel at Human Rights Watch

@howden_africa – East Africa correspondent, The Economist

 Sample of Third Party Validators regarding Kenya and the ICC

Richard Dicker, Director of International Justice, Human Rights Watch
“The council did the right thing by not halting these trials, ensuring that victims get their day in court.” – UN Refuses to Delay ICC Trial of Kenya’s Leaders, AP, 15NOV13

Tawanda Hondora, Deputy Director of Law & Policy, Amnesty International
“The victims of the post-election violence in Kenya have waited long enough for justice. It would be a shame if Security Council members prioritized the personal interests of political leaders over those of victims of crimes against humanity.” – UN Security Coincil must reject calls to defer ICC trial on Kenya, Amnesty International, 13NOV13

Clare Allenson, Associate, Eurasia Group
“The already strong but now reinforced counterterrorism relationship between Kenyatta’s administration and the US and UK will likely diminish the impact of ongoing ICC cases against Kenyatta and his deputy.” – Kenyan president unlikely to appear at ICC, Al Jazeera, 10OCT13

Mwangi S. Kimenyi, Director, Africa Growth Initiative, Brookings Institution
“The ICC intervention in Kenya has, however, been seen by Kenyans as largely a political, rather than a judicial, process. A large fraction of Kenyans have come to regard the ICC intervention as an attempt to remove the two from political contention rather than seek justice for the victims of the violence.”  – Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta Deserves Support of the International Community, UpFront, 11MAR13

John Campbell, Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
“The ICC charges against Kenyatta and Ruto were an issue in the 2013 Kenyan elections and popular backlash against the Court probably helped them [win].” – Kenya and the ICC, Africa in Transition, 16MAY13

Sample of open source research by TRG analysts related to Kenya and the ICC

1. Africa presses for UN vote to suspend Kenya trial

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 12 November 2013

UNITED NATIONS, United States, Nov 13, 2013 (AFP) – The UN Security Council will vote Friday on an African call for the International Criminal Court trial of Kenyan leaders to be suspended for a year, diplomats said.

Rwanda’s UN envoy Eugene Richard Gasana told reporters after Security Council talks on the case that African states were pressing for a vote this week on their draft resolution.

Rwandan deputy ambassador Olivier Nduhungirehe later told AFP there would be a vote Friday on a resolution calling for crimes against humanity charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto to be deferred for one year.

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2. UN refuses to delay ICC trial of Kenya’s leaders

Media: Associated Press

Byline: N/A

Date: 15 November 2013

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The African Union demanded that the Security Council vote Friday to shelve the International Criminal Court trial of Kenya’s president on crimes against humanity charges for a year.

Diplomats say the draft resolution asking for the delay appears doomed, with only seven of the 15 council members known to be supporting it. It would need nine votes to pass, and even then it could be vetoed by strong ICC supporters Britain or France.

The United States has not joined the court, but generally supports its goals and case work.

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3. African Union ‘disappointed’ over rejection of ICC delay

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 15 November 2013

ADDIS ABABA, Nov 15, 2013 (AFP) – The African Union said Friday it was “disappointed” at the UN Security Council’s rejection of its demand that the International Criminal Court trials of Kenya’s president and vice president be delayed.

“Well of course we are disappointed,” Erastus Mwencha, deputy head of the AU Commission, told AFP in Addis Ababa, where the AU is headquartered.

“I think at this stage we will have to reflect on it and then find a way forward,” he added.

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4. China regrets Security Council failure to defer ICC trials of Kenyan leaders

Media: Xinhua (China)

Byline: N/A

Date: 15 November 2013

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) — China on Friday voiced its regret at the failure of Security Council to adopt a draft resolution on deferring the International Criminal Court (ICC) proceedings against Kenyan leaders.

Liu Jieyi, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, made the remarks after a vote on the draft resolution co- sponsored by African countries.

In the vote at the 15-member council, seven members, including Russia and China, supported the draft resolution, while the eight others, including Britain, France and the United States, abstained.

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5. BLOG: Deferral denied

Media: The Economist

Byline: N/A

Date: 16 November 2013

AFTER all the sound and fury, Africa’s diplomatic push to get the United Nations Security Council to defer the trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) of Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s president (pictured left), ended in failure. A November 15th vote on a resolution backed by the African Union attracted only seven “yes” votes in the 15-member council.

An unlikely campaign that recast the US-educated Mr Kenyatta as an outspoken pan-Africanist inveighing against an imperialist tribunal at The Hague, failed to move the UN’s top decision-making body. More worryingly for the indicted leader, it has failed to sway Kenyan public opinion. A survey released on the eve of the vote showed that the majority of his compatriots believe he should attend hearings at the ICC. Some two-thirds of respondents said their president should stand trial on charges that he helped orchestrate the violence five years ago in the wake of a disputed election. The mayhem claimed at least 1,300 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people, at least 20,000 of whom are awaiting compensation which will only come at the conclusion of his trial.

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6. Kenyan President Faced Justice With Help Of Secret Envelope

Media: NPR

Byline: Gregory Warner

Date: 14 November 2013

Kenya’s deputy president William Ruto is back before the International Criminal Court in The Hague on Monday. He and his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, face charges of instigating and financing deadly tribal violence in Kenya after that country’s disputed 2007 election.

But their cases might never have reached this stage if not for one Kenyan judge and a remarkable disappearing act.

Justice Philip Waki was a Kenyan appellate judge appointed to chair a Commission of Inquiry to find the top political officials who instigated the post-election violence of 2007 and 2008, violence that killed more than 1,100 people.

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