Kenya is for the second time in two years urging the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to defer cases against Deputy President William Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang.
The country’s Permanent Mission to the UN, in a petition dated October 16, wants the UNSC to defer the case since Kenya’s concerns over the matter have not been addressed since October 2013.
In addition, the deferral will also allow the auditing of the witnesses who have testified against Mr Ruto and Mr Sang as requested by Pokot South MP David Pkosing.
The country had on October 23, 2013 sought to have the council defer the cases on the grounds that the ICC posed serious political and social threats to the stability of the country as well as the region.
The 2013 petition had been rejected by the council during an interactive dialogue. Then, the council had advised Kenya to pursue the resolution of the matters it had raised within the context of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP).
“Kenya regrets to inform the Council that the concerns of Kenya, and indeed of the African Union on this matter remain unresolved to date.
“The case at the ICC continues to pose serious political and social distraction within Kenya and by extension, continues to undermine the immediate and long term political stability of Kenya and threatens of the sub-region of Eastern and Africa and Horn of Africa,” Kenya’s ambassador to the UN Macharia Kamau wrote to the president of the UNSC as he forwarded the petition by Mr Pkosing.
Mr Pkosing’s petition, which was signed by 190 MPs, seeks to have the UNSC order an audit of the witnesses that Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has relied in the case against Mr Ruto and Sang.
The MP wants the case to be put on hold as the audit is being done.
“Kenya further recalls that on numerous occasions the African Union has discussed its relationship with the International Criminal Court in light of the situations in the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of the Sudan.
“As the requests made to the council pursuant to these discussions have not been met with due consideration, the African Union remains actively seized of this matter,” Mr Kamau stated.
According to Mr Kamau, the matters remain of such grave concern, and the admission of recanted testimony into evidence by the Trial Chamber of the ICC “are of such alarming nature that Kenya is once again compelled to resort to the Council for leadership and immediate action on these matters with a view to seeking the immediate deferral of the case”.
In addition, Mr Kamau has asked the Security Council members to permit the 190 MPs who have signed Mr Pkosing’s petition or their representatives to physically present their concerns.
“Kenya would like to express its hope that the Council will discuss the contents of this petition at its earliest opportunity,” said Mr Kamau.
Kenya’s petition was forwarded to the members of the UNSC on October 20 by its president, Román Oyarzun Marchesi of Spain.