African leaders plan to organize a special summit next month amid rising opposition to the trials of two top Kenyan officials at the International Criminal Court(ICC).
The summit “will be a follow-up to the decision” taken by the African leaders in May, when “they requested the International Criminal Court to facilitate giving Kenya the opportunity to investigate and try the accused,” the deputy head of the executive branch of the African Union, Erastus Mwencha, said on Friday. He further noted that the meeting would take place “in early October” in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. On September 10, Kenyan Vice President William Ruto stood trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, the Netherlands. Ruto has been charged with engineering violence following the 2007 presidential election, which led to the killing of more than 1000 people. President Uhuru Kenyatta is also to go on trial in November on similar charges. The African Union is trying to shift the trial of Kenyatta and Ruto to Kenya and has accused the Hague-based ICC of singling out Africans for prosecution. Kenya’s parliament passed a motion for Kenya to withdraw from the court proceedings earlier this month, claiming the West was trying to interfere in Kenyan domestic affairs. The ICC court, however, announced that it would continue the trial even in the absence of the two political leaders.