Uhuru not welcome in Botswana if he defies ICC- minister

Wednesday March 13 2013

President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta (second right) and deputy president-elect William Ruto (right) meet top security officials at Mr Kenyatta’s home in Nairobi March 11, 2013. Botswana has said Mr Kenyatta is not welcome in the country if he refuses to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) March 13, 2013. FILE

President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta (second right) and deputy president-elect William Ruto (right) meet top security officials at Mr Kenyatta’s home in Nairobi March 11, 2013. Botswana has said Mr Kenyatta is not welcome in the country if he refuses to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) March 13, 2013. FILE NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MTOKOZISI DUBE, NATION Correspondent in Gaborone

Botswana has said Kenya President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta is not welcome in the country if he refuses to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The ICC has charged Mr Kenyatta with crimes against humanity for bearing the greatest responsibility for the post election violence in which 1,133 people died and 650,000 were displaced. He is due to stand trial on July 9.

"If he refuses to go (to The Hague), then we have a problem. That means that they do not know the rule of law. You can’t establish a court and refuse to go when it calls you. If he refuses, he won’t set foot here,” Botswana's Foreign Affairs Minister Phandu Skelemani told Mmegi, a Botswana daily.

Mr Skeleman said he expected Mr Kenyatta and deputy president- elect William Ruto, who is also facing similar charges, will cooperate with the ICC.

Mr Kenyatta was declared President-elect by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Saturday.

However, his closest challenger, Raila Odinga, has disputed Mr Kenyatta's victory and said he will contest it in the Supreme Court.