UN Council Opposes Halting Kenya Cases in Global Court

Kenya failed to win the United Nations Security Council’s approval for a one-year halt to International Criminal Court cases against Kenya’s two top leaders.

A resolution proposed by 13 African nations and Azerbaijan wasn’t adopted after eight of the 15 members abstained and seven voted in favor. Adoption would have required at least nine votes in favor and none of the five permanent council members exercising their veto power.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto are accused of committing crimes against humanity linked to a disputed election in 2007 that led to violent clashes and the murder of more than 1,100 people. Kenya, backed by the African Union, has sought a delay in line with a provision which allows a postponement of the international court’s proceedings for as long as a year if approved by the council.

All of the eight active cases before the court are against Africans, prompting complaints that the tribunal is unfairly targeting the continent.

The court last month delayed Kenyatta’s trial to Feb. 5 from Nov. 12 under an agreement between the defense and prosecution, the Hague-based court said in an e-mailed statement on Oct. 31.

Kenyatta, 51, is the second sitting president to be indicted by the court after Sudanese leader Umar al-Bashir, who is wanted for suspected war crimes and genocide in Sudan’s western Darfur region. Kenyatta and Ruto deny the accusations.

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