UN council to meet with Kenya about violence cases

Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:59am GMT

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council will meet next week to discuss Kenya's request to postpone International Criminal Court cases related to Kenyan post-election violence, China's U.N. envoy said on Friday.

But Security Council diplomats said it was unlikely the 15-nation body would agree to a deferral of the ICC process.

In December, ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo named senior politicians and a former police chief among six people suspected of orchestrating violence that followed the disputed 2007 presidential election. All six were summoned on Tuesday to appear before the ICC on April 7 for an initial appearance.

Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong, president of the Security Council this month, said Kenya had asked for a meeting to discuss the ICC cases. The council has agreed to meet informally with the Kenyans, he said.

"The council ... decided to have an interactive dialogue next Wednesday afternoon," Li told reporters. "The Kenyan side and also a representative of the AU (African Union) will participate in the consultations."

President Mwai Kibaki plans to ask the council to defer the trials for a year and then have the cases heard in Nairobi, a plan backed by the African Union but opposed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who wants ICC trials.

Diplomats on the council, however, said Kenya had little support for a move to halt the ICC process.

"We're happy to meet with the Kenyans and discuss it with them," a Western diplomat said. "But I don't know of a single council member who actively supports the idea of a deferral."   Continued...

<p>Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki arrives at Bole International Airport in preparation for the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, January 31, 2009.REUTERS/Irada Humbatova</p>
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