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ICC Defers Kenya to Feb 5, Ethiopia for AU Asks For Year, Resolution Soon

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 31 -- After the African Union met the UN Security Council asking for deferral under Article 16 of the International Criminal Court's Kenya cases, Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom spoke on camera to the press.

  He said Kenya is "at war" and its leaders should not be distracted by these cases. The ICC's decision earlier in the day to defer the case against President Kenyatta to February 5 is not enough, he said. There should be a one year deferral, and that time should be used to find a "solution."

  While Kenya's minister ended up not speaking on camera, saying that Tedros Adhanom had spoken for them all, sources in the meeting told Inner City Press that she said when Kenya joined the ICC it didn't know there was a "hierarchy" in which a higher standard was applied to invoking Article 16 on deferrals.

  She told the Security Council members to look at their own Council press statement on the Westgate mall attack, which called it a threat to international peace and security.

  Inner City Press asked Tedros Adhanom what the timing would be, if a resolution would be put forward. Yes, he said. (Video soon. Here's an Inner City Press photo of the AU ministers the day before the meeting, here's one of their huddle afterward.)

As Inner City Press reported during the meeting, Russia and China spoke clearly in favor of the African position, while the US and France were called "unclear." US Ambassador Samantha Power left just before noon, and declined comment.

  Inner City Press ran to the day's UN noon briefing and asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky if Ban had any comment, on the ICC putting the case off to February 5. Nesirky said no, that the Secretariat does not get involved with the Court -- except to encourage cooperation.

  But Ban and members of this team (not including his Special Adviser on Africa Maged Abdelaziz) called African heads of state before their meeting in Addis. So what is Ban's position? Watch this site.


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