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Draft Resolution for Kenya ICC Deferral to be Circulated Nov 1 by 3 Africans

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, November 1, updated -- The day after the UN Security Council heard behind closed doors the African Union's argument for a one year deferral of the International Criminal Court's Kenya proceedings, a formal draft resolution for the deferral is to be circulated by the Council's three African members, Inner City Press has learned.

Update: after 7 pm the draft was circulated: 17 preambular paragraphs, four Operative paragraphs. We'll have more on this.

  Morocco, Rwanda and Togo are the Council's three African members, the latter two members of the African Union. But how will other countries vote?

  As Inner City Press reported yesterday, in the closed door meeting Russia and China said they supported the African position. Pakistan does as well.

  While US Ambassador Samantha Power declined comment as she left the meeting with the African Union on October 31, Inner City Press kept asking the US Mission for its position.

  On the night of Halloween Samantha Power's twitter had this runic view: "Now that ICC postponed Kenyatta's trial, Assembly of State Parties can weigh in on Botswana’s proposed revision to ICC rules of procedure."

  Inner City Press posed / posted a follow-up: "OK. But what's @StateDept position on African Union's request now, for Article 16 deferral by #UNSC?" So far, no answer.

  On November 1, outside the Council's meeting on the Central African Republic, Inner City Press asked France's Gerard Araud about the International Criminal Court. He said, on camera, that this had been answered by Rwanda's Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana, before you got here. Really? Video here.

Article 16 of the Rome Statute is only fifty six words long:

"No investigation or prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with under this Statute for a period of 12 months after the Security Council, in a resolution adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, has requested the Court to that effect; that request may be renewed by the Council under the same conditions."

 Because of the citation to Chapter VII, the argument made in the AU - Security Council closed door meeting on October 31 was that with Kenya fighting in Somalia, and the subject of the terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, subjecting its leaders to a trial in The Hague would be a threat to international peace and security or would amplify a threat to international peace and security, the key phase to trigger action under Chapter VII. For more, longer form analysis is here, on BeaconReader. Watch this site.

Update: after 7 pm the draft was circulated: 17 preambular paragraphs, four Operative paragraphs. We'll have more on this.


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