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African Union called U.N. Security Council to halt ICC´s prosecutions against Kenyan and Sudanese Presidents.

African Security News.- Presidents Kenyatta (Kenya) and Bashir (Sudan)

African Security News.- Presidents Kenyatta (Kenya) and Bashir (Sudan)

African Union Summit in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) called on Saturday for the prosecutions of Kenya’s and Sudan’s presidents by the International Criminal Court to be halted. The AU complaints the body has only ever pursued Africans.

 

 

The AU Summit said the U.N. Security Council should defer the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta under article 16 of the court’s Rome Statute, which allows for an initial delay of a year, or it would seek an alternative means of postponement.

Kenyatta has been accused of orchestrating large-scale violence after a disputed 2007 election, charges he deny. Kenyatta’s trial is due to start on November 12.

The African Union stance challenges the Hague-based court in its most high-profile case to date – its first trial of a sitting president.

 

Without an agreed legal delay in court proceedings, any decision by Kenyatta not to attend could prompt an arrest warrant, a step Western nations have wanted to avoid as it would complicate already tricky relations with a regional ally.

 

African nations say the ICC court has ignored earlier demands that the cases be delayed while the men are in office or moved closer to home.

 

The Sudanese president, Omar Hassan al Bashir, who faces charges of genocide.

 

Unlike the Kenyan politicians, Bashir has long defied an arrest warrant, deepening his nation’s alienation from the West.

 

Africans say the court has “double standards”, saying laws in other nations mean top leaders are immune from prosecution.

 

However, ministers did not call for a mass walk-out from the court’s jurisdiction, after officials previously said such a proposal would be on the agenda. The idea did not win broad support among Africa’s 34 signatories to the court’s statutes.