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Kenya Asks UNSC for ICC Cases To Be Dropped, Kiir Slams ICC, Lanka Compared

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 23 -- It took Kenya two letters to get the meeting, but on a rainy Thursday afternoon in New York Kenyan Permanent Representative Kamau Macharia addressed the 15 members of the UN Security Council.

  He told them the International Criminal Court cases against Kenyan leaders including president Uhuru Kenyatta should be dropped, in their entirety. As several sources told Inner City Press during the closed door meeting, he did NOT ask for the one year Article 16 deferral.

  Afterward by the North Lawn building stairs, Kamau Macharia told Inner City Press he asked for "the whole thing" -- the dropping of the cases. Inner City Press asked him about moves to ask African Union members to tell the ICC to drop the cases, and South Sudan president Salva Kiir's statement condemning the cases and the ICC.

  Kamau Macharia said if a "beacon of democracy" like Kenya is being prosecuted, countries with graver problems would not want to join the ICC.

  Rwanda asked why, with all the bloody conflicts on the agenda of the Security Council, they spent Thursday afternoon speaking about Kenya. (One might compare, as Inner City Press does, the 40,000 civilians killed in Sri Lanka in 2009 with what happened in Kenya).

  The recent Kenyan elections were called a referendum on the ICC. The "usual suspects" were said to have argued that the ICC is not political. More and more people don't believe that. But how will the ICC respond? Watch this site.

Footnote: just before the 3 pm start-time for the Security Council informal interactive meeting, Inner City Press was working at the table in front of the current Security Council chamber. (It is just such a table that the UN and its partners are trying to ban from the front of the renovated Security Council after May 31.)

  Kamau Macharia arrived and asked Inner City Press if the meeting wasn't in the chamber, or in the room next door. No, Inner City Press replied, like other unpublicized such meetings, it would be in the North Lawn building, Conference Room 7.

  There, also, Inner City Press set up a table and spoke with attendees. No one was bothered. It works, but some in the UN and their partners want to ban it. The Free UN Coalition for Access is opposing it. Watch this site.

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