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ICC to ignore AU resolutions on Uhuru and Ruto, denies racism allegations

Monday May 27 2013

From left: ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, Deputy President William Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta. PHOTO/FILE

From left: ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, Deputy President William Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta. PHOTO/FILE NATION MEDIA GROUP

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has said it will ignore African Union (AU) resolutions on President Uhuru Kenyatta and deputy William Ruto cases, emphasising the court is not bound by political decisions.

The AU said ICC is targeting Africans on a racial basis on Monday, as the continental bloc urged crimes against humanity trials for Kenya's leaders be moved to their home country.

The Hague based court on Monday denied an African Union charge that it was racist and said it would not respond to an AU call for Kenyan leaders' crimes against humanity trials to be moved to their home country.

"The International Criminal Court will not be reacting to African Union resolutions," ICC spokesman Fadi El Abdallah told AFP after the pan-continental bloc urged the Kenyans' trials be taken out of the ICC's hands.

AU chair and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn had earlier Monday accused the ICC at an AU summit in Addis Ababa of being involved in "race hunting".

The ICC, set up in 2002 to try the world's worst crimes, is frequently accused of bias because all of its cases involve Africans.

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Spokesman Abdallah referred to the standard denial response to such accusations, which notes that four out of eight situations under investigation in Africa were referred to the court by the countries themselves.

Also, 43 African countries have signed the ICC's founding Rome Statute, which 34 have ratified, "making Africa the most heavily represented region in the court's membership," the ICC statement said.

AFP