Home | News    Wednesday 7 December 2011

Kenya scraps plan to host IGAD summit following Bashir’s warrant

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December 6, 2011 (WASHINGTON) – The Kenyan foreign minister Moses Wetangula on Tuesday announced that his government will not host the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) meeting that was to be dedicated for discussions on the Sudan issues.

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Kenyan foreign minister Moses Wetangula

The decision comes against the backdrop of the arrest warrant issued by a Kenyan high court judge last month for Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir in compliance with similar warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Bashir is charged with ten counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity connected to the conflict in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.

Last month, Wetangula defiantly said that despite the order an IGAD summit will be held “in Kenya or elsewhere” and that Sudan delegation will be led by Bashir.

But today the Kenyan top diplomat reversed course revealing that Kenya has written to IGAD to allow Ethiopia host the summit since President Meles Zenawi is the current IGAD chairman.

According to Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) Wetangula again warned of punitive measures Sudan stands ready to take over the warrant.

Following the judge’s ruling, Sudan expelled the Kenyan ambassador and recalled back its own from Nairobi. The decision was put on hold however, following a visit by Wetangula to Khartoum with a letter from his boss president Mwai Kibaki.

When he returned Wetangula said that Bashir wanted to evict all Kenyans in Sudan, close airspace for planes heading to Kenya and freeze bilateral trade. This was reversed he said after his meeting with the Sudanese leader.

But Sudan issued a statement shortly after the visit giving Kenya two weeks to have the decision reversed or else it will proceed with sanctions.

The Kenyan government has criticized the judge’s decision saying it jeopardizes the country’s foreign relations and its mediation role in Sudan.

Suggestions by Kenyan officials that they will not obey court order drew strong warning from the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga who said that such positions amounts to overthrowing the constitution.

But Wetangula denied that the government ever made such statements.

"This is a judgment in error. I have practiced law for over two decades and as a lawyer of longstanding, at no time did I say that we shall not obey the court order. I expressed my opinion just like any other lawyer does when appealing against a court’s decision," he said.

The Kenyan attorney general has already filed a notice of appeal to the Bashir ruling, according to local media reports.

Kenya is an ICC member but said that the African Union (AU) decisions ordering its members not to cooperate with the court in apprehending Bashir overrules its obligation under the Rome Statute.

(ST)

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  • 7 December 2011 10:40, by Chol A.

    Well done Mr. Foreign minister try to do your job people should not down played the law. Judge decision over Bashir must be respected otherwise Kemyan government it just abusing it own law.

    repondre message

  • 7 December 2011 11:39, by Longa

    Kenya is trapped between its obligation to ICC and its domestic foreign policy to the Sudan. It is crying of loosing business with the Sudan. Kenya is afraid of economic crisis should Sudan enforce economic sanctions. So the matter here is not the respect of international law but economic survival Kenya needs, interest first and the law later, USA style if it comes to the interest of Kenyans.

    repondre message

  • 7 December 2011 14:36, by philipdit wol

    Oh yes Moes Wetangula should not fear by this time world is washing Bashir atrocity not your fault with a time "an eggs will work" please.

    repondre message

  • 7 December 2011 15:19, by Man manning

    DR.Willy that is perfect,your decision show that you are an experience chief justice.Bastardshir can not make a good Kenyan’s partner.How about S.Sudanese can’t Kenyan make business with them?then all Kenyan who are investing in the south will all go to the North if that will be fair to Wetangula, there isn’t need for him to be call Moses.After all its not clear that Beshir will be caught in Kenya

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  • 7 December 2011 21:40, by Jacob Dior Macueng Aciek

    It’s time for Africans to fight the Arabs regime,
    it’s time for Bashir to harvest what he sowed during all this time of the atrocities,what business do people talk about in Sudan? what about what we have here S.Sudan,more Kenyans are in Juba than Khartoum,if matter of oil,than we shall soon have our own pipelines and Khartoum will be transporting water with their pipelines,change should come now.

    repondre message

  • 29 April 2013 20:10, by dennishobson

    6cMnS756LoIN8m15CKILQhedMPtUGGssanyong actyon deck de madeira plastic lumber There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into

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