On the November 15, 2013, the UN Security Council failed to support the request of the African Union for the deferral of the criminal cases against the President and Deputy President of Kenya for a year as provided for by Article 16 of the Rome Statute of the international Criminal Court. The resolution for the deferral prepared by Rwanda on behalf of the AU did not receive the requisite number of votes, Russia and China supported the resolution but the United States of America, France and the United Kingdom abstained from voting.
The decision of the UN Security Council whilst welcomed and supported by the human rights movement and many victims of the 2007 post-electoral violence was meant with accusations of betrayal directed to the US, France and UK by Kenya, the AU and some African states.
These developments raise several questions and concerns in relation to future relations between the International Criminal Court and the African Union on the one hand and between the UN and African states on the other.. Will African States follow the Kenyan example and withdraw from the Rome Statute? And will the African Union establish its own regional criminal court to address the challenges of gross human rights violations, genocide and war crimes and the fight against impunity?
All of this we must add is happening in the shadows of the conflict in the DR Congo with Presidents Museveni of Uganda and Kagame of Rwanda stands indicted by UN reports of the roles in the war in Congo and n the plundering of Congos’s natural resources and horrendous human rights abuses and crimes against humanity committed with their support by their proxy militias. Broadcast on Nov 30, 2013.
- Mr Nii Akuetteh, Washington DC based democracy activist and Africa policy analyst
- Raymond Yeldidong Bayor, Ghanaian studying journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism
- Tseliso Thipanyane, AfrobeatRadio Human Rights producer
- Wuyi Jacobs