World Bulletin/News Desk
Kenyan Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has denied reports that a special weekend session of the African Union had been called at Kenya's request to help rally African countries to pull out of the International Criminal Court's Rome Statute.
"We have not yet reached the stage of actually pulling out of any statute," Mohamed told a press conference in Nairobi this afternoon.
"As you know, there was a motion for repealing our International Crimes Act and, basically, we have not gotten there yet," she asserted.
Kenya's National Assembly and the Senate – the two chambers of parliament – recently voted in favor of withdrawing from the Rome Statue.
The motions were sponsored by lawmakers from the ruling Jubilee Coalition.
The move will see Kenya petition the UN Security Council within the next 30 days to approve its withdrawal request. If granted by the global body, the withdrawal could take effect within twelve months.
The vote came to protest the trial at the ICC of President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and former radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang.
"We are still cooperating with the court," said the cabinet secretary.
At the same time, she dismissed concerns voiced by former UN chief Kofi Annan that it would be a shame for African countries to withdraw from the Rome Statute.
"He is an African statesman and we hope he understands the changing circumstances in the continent," Mohamed said.
She insisted that Kenya was committed to fulfilling its obligations in relation to the ICC trials at The Hague.
The official noted that President Kenyatta has asked to attend some of the ICC trial sessions via video link.
"We are still waiting for a decision to be made on that," she said.
She added that Kenyatta was fully cooperating with the ICC, urging the court to take note of his current position.
"Before, he was not the head of state of the republic. Today, he is the head of state," Mohamed said.
"It is going to be the first time that a serving head of state is brought before any court of any kind – not just here, but anywhere in the world."Last Mod: 09 Ekim 2013, 21:24