Seychelles Joins Call for Greater Spirit of Cooperation from the ICC and Kenya in Pursuit for Justice
The Seychelles delegation has added its voice to the call at the African Union Extraordinary Summit held in Addis Ababa this week on the question of ‘Africa’s relationship with the International Criminal Court’ requesting that the ICC to be more responsive towards African member states.
The Summit had been called following concerns expressed by many African governments, that the ICC was impinging on Kenya’s sovereign rights as a state party through its treatment of the ongoing cases against Deputy President William Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
At the Summit, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam who, is leading the Seychelles delegation, has reiterated Seychelles’ commitment to the ideals of the ICC, and it’s mandate to fight impunity, but has echoed the views of the summit as a whole in asking that the respect of sovereignty of individual states be a fundamental part of the ICC process:
“We must stand up for justice and fairness however justice and fairness will not be achieved for victims if there is not also justice and fairness for member states.”
Minister Adam expressed support for Kenya in trying to address the constitutional questions that are being raised in relation to appearances by the Deputy President and the expected case to commence against the President by engaging with the ICC.
The Summit has approved a decision that calls on the UN Security Council to defer the cases against Kenya’s leaders in conformity with Article 16 of the Rome Statute. The decision of the Summit further calls on the establishment of a ‘contact group’ of the AU to engage the ICC and Security Council on the subject. The AU Summit has also approved an approach towards the Assembly of State Parties to the ICC to inscribe the concerns of the AU on the agenda and begin discussions towards amending the statutes to reflect the concerns of sovereignty, and equity among states.
Minister Adam added that it was evident from the situation currently being faced that the ICC had not foreseen this current predicament despite legal action against sitting Presidents being permitted under the Rome Statute.
In addition, the Minister added that Seychelles was willing to support Kenya in their undertakings to find a solution that will ensure justice for the victims of the 2007 post-election violence while respecting the sovereign rights of a Member State and its democratically elected leaders.
The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Barry Faure, and the Seychelles Permanent Representative to the African Union, Amb. Joseph Nourrice, are currently accompanying the Minister.