March 9, 2013

Dilemma: ICC, United States In A Fix Over Uhuru’s Triumph

President and Vice President elect Uhuru Kenyatta (L) and Willia Ruto are both facing charges at the ICC
President and Vice President elect Uhuru Kenyatta (L) and William Ruto are both facing charges at the ICC

As Kenyans celebrate the election triumph of Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta as Kenya’s fourth president after defeating his main rival Raila Odinga in the hotly contested election, the west especially the United States and the International Criminal Court (ICC) find themselves in an awkward situation on whether to endorse Uhuru’s presidency.

Uhuru’s slim victory of 50.03% is being challenged by Odinga who has since refused to concede defeat saying the whole process was flawed.

HOW WILL THE ICC DEAL WITH “UHURUTO”?

Kenyatta’s victory will have far reaching consequences on the international stage considering he is set to stand trial in the Hague on charges of crimes against humanity in relation to the 2007 violence that proceeded the ill-fated polls that left scores dead and displaced.

Not only is Kenyatta facing this hurdle, his running mate William Ruto who is the Vice President elect also has the ICC cases to worry about. The status conference of his trial is set to begin on the 28th of this month.

What will the ICC do now that Kenyans have chosen a suspect to be their president? The Hague based organisation’s decision will have to take into account how ethnically the country is polarised, a recipe for possible conflict.

Uhuru and Ruto can only hope the ICC clears them of any wrong doing during the 2007 post-election violence or else their administration is headed for a Bashir-ICC-like conflict.

U.S DILEMMA

As if to set the tone of what awaits Uhuru and his government on the international stage, Washington in its congratulatory message to Kenyans did not include the name of the president elect. The U.S has probably done this due to Uhuru charges at the ICC.

This is a clear message the President elect Uhuru and his supporters should not take lightly if the new leader is to have a freedom on the world stage considering what Sudanese President Omar Bashir is experiencing.

“On behalf of the United States of America, I want to congratulate the people of Kenya for voting peacefully on March 4 and all those elected to office. Across the country, Kenyans turned out by the millions to exercise their most fundamental democratic right. I am inspired by the overwhelming desire of Kenyans to peacefully make their voices heard, and I applaud the patience they have shown as votes were tallied.” A statement from US Secretary of State John Kerry read.

“Foremost in our minds is a desire to see the will of the Kenyan people expressed freely and fairly. We strongly urge all parties and their supporters to peacefully address any disputes with today’s announcement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission through the Kenyan legal system, rather than on the streets. These elections are an historic opportunity for the people of Kenya to come together to build a better future. Since its independence in 1963, Kenya has been one of America’s strongest and most enduring partners in Africa. We stand with you at this historic moment and will continue to be a strong friend and ally of the Kenyan people.” It added

The U.S that takes pride in upholding democratic principles has been cautious enough not to include Kenyatta in the message knowing it would draw criticisms for recognising leaders who are facing charges of crimes against humanity. Although the statement recognises the will of Kenyans, it falls short of endorsing the fact that Kenyans also decided that Kenyatta be their president. A contradiction. One question however remains; for how long will the US go on without recognising Uhuru Kenyatta?

For the United States to have a good working relation with Kenya (which it badly needs considering its interests in the region and the strategic location of the East African nation), Uhuru has to be recognised as the dully elected president of Kenya.

What waits to be seen is whether Washington will recognize ICC suspects Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto as the new Kenyan leaders?

 

 

8 thoughts on “Dilemma: ICC, United States In A Fix Over Uhuru’s Triumph

  1. Uhuru got an overwhelming win not a narrow win. He won with over 7% of the electorate which is over 800,000 votes. That is not a narrow win.

  2. The ICC was established for African leaders. Now it is an opportunity for African leaders to withdraw from the treaty creating the ICC.

    1. Our African judicial systems failed to deliver justice to many genocide victims remember.The dictators have killed so many people and no justice is done for the victim’s family.Are you trying to condone this culture of impunity?

  3. Is ICC for election results? I see most people comment with mix up minds. If the one persecuted happened to be your relatives, what will you do to the perpetrators yourselves.

  4. That is a vey bad signal and an insult to the people of Kenya. All along I thought
    American was for Democracy, now that the people of Kenya have spoken through
    the ballot, America is frowning. Many Kenyans have been speaking behind
    curtains that Obama actually wanted the man who has blood links with him in the
    names of Odinga but they failed to pull off the move. It is stupid for Washington in its
    congratulatory message to Kenyans not to congratulate or mention the name of
    the president elect. To say that the elections were an historic opportunity for
    the people of Kenya to come together to build a better future and omitting to
    say anything about the President is going to create bad blood especially that
    Kenya has been one of America’s strongest allies and partners in Africa. They
    indeed need to apologise as this could be the turning point for a history of
    violence to occur.

  5. Just because you have been elected does not mean your criminal activities should be swept under the carpet!What of the victims who are still crying for justice?

  6. Who cares what the American statement reads like, whom they mention and whom they omit???? Elections were in Kenya, and everything happened according to the will of the Kenyans people. If America doesn’t like the president-elect, so what??

    You see, we Africans must stop inferiority complex in the face of the west. The western world is concerned ONLY about their INTERESTS, nothing less nothing more. Africans cannot be hostage to western interests.

    May be the ICC is a good thing, may be not… what I know for a fact is that the United States of America is not a state party to the ICC. American nationals cannot be prosecuted under this court – despite the fact that America is the World number one war monger!!! They have committed unspeakable crimes against humanity everywhere they have fought wars, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. etc. but they are effectively shielded against prosecution at ICC!! Yet when it comes to the weak Africans, they (Americans) begin to refer to ICC indictments!! Who wants to listen to those hypocrites?????????????

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