Hon. Bernard K. Membe (MP), Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation revisits the International Criminal Court (ICC) matter against the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto during his interview with the Clouds FM Radio Station today located in Mikocheni, Dar es Salaam.
Listening on are Mr. Gerald Hando (left) and Mr. Paul James "PJ" of the Clouds FM Radio Station.
Hon. Minister Membe reiterates Africa’s view that the ICC was biased against African leaders and that the African Union (AU) has ruled that no sitting African president or anyone with the mandate to act as president should stand trial before the ICC. Right is Ms. Barbara Hassan of the Clouds FM Radio Station.
Membe revisits the ICC symphony
By TAGIE DAISY MWAKAWAGO
Tanzania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation says that he expects the United Nations Security Council to defer the cases facing Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, and his deputy, at the International Criminal Court, before November12, when H.E. Kenyatta is due to stand trial.
Hon. Bernard K. Membe (MP) said in an interview with Clouds FM Radio in Dar es Salaam today, that Africa as a bloc will not understand failure by the UN to endorse the demand for deferral of the cases raised by African Leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last week.
Minister Membe reiterated Africa’s view that the ICC was biased against African Leaders. The African Union (AU) has ruled that no sitting African president or anyone with the mandate to act as president should stand trial before the ICC. Any charges against such leaders should be deferred until they retire.
“We were under the impression that ICC would be fair to all accused persons, but it has been sorely targeting African Leaders,” said the Minister, wondering: “To which court are the Western suspects taken?”
The Minister rejected the notion that deferring the cases facing President Kenyatta and his deputy, Hon. William Ruto undermined the 1,200 Kenyans killed in post election violence for which they have been indicted.
“More than 600,000 South Africans were killed during the apartheid era, but the matter was settled through reconciliation, not at The Hague,” he explained.
He said that although President Kenyatta was indicted by the ICC when he was an ordinary citizen, the Court is duty bound to respect his status as Head of State and be sensitive to his responsibility to serve the people of Kenya.
Out of 30 cases brought before the ICC so far, 27 are from African Continent.
Meanwhile, Hon. Membe said the so-called coalition of the willing, under which the other East African Community (EAC) members were convening to fast track political federation, was questionable because it was not endorsed by a formal meeting of all members.
The process was, therefore, clandestine, he said, adding:
“They should invite or at least notify us of their meetings, because leaving us out will not add or diminish anything.”
Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Burundi have been meeting without Tanzania to prepare a constitution for political federation, which Hon. Membe said was anomalous because the customs union remained shaky and the monetary union was not yet in place.
The Minister maintained that there could be no EAC without Tanzania. “Let me assure you that Tanzania is strategically located with all kind of resources and food surplus to feed neighboring countries.”
Hon. Membe said that Tanzania has been and will remain the pioneer of peace and security in the region.