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Nairobi - Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed on Wednesday implied President Uhuru Kenyatta might not attend his crimes against humanity trial due to start in November at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
“In what place on earth has a serving president been brought before any court of justice?” Mohamed told reporters.
Kenyatta is accused of orchestrating ethnic violence in the aftermath of the disputed 2007 elections. More than 1 000 people died and 600 000 people were displaced in the unrest.
Deputy President William Ruto's trial on similar charges started last month. He attended the opening sessions.
“We have to do two things. We have to cooperate with the court right now, but there is also a duty to this country that elected this president that he should govern,” said Mohamed.
She said Kenyatta's relationship with the world's only permanent court for war crimes is “absolutely, completely different” since he was elected president in March.
The Kenyan case was referred to the ICC after the government and local courts failed to take action against those accused of the most serious crimes.
Mohamed's comments come ahead of an African Union summit at the weekend to discuss the continent's participation in the ICC.
“In July it was agreed we would meet to reflect on our relationship with the ICC, so here we are meeting to reflect on that and to decide on whether we need further meetings and what action we need to take,” Mohamed said, declining to state specifically if the body would seek to withdraw from the court.
African nations, once some of the staunchest supporters of the ICC, have been growing increasingly sceptical of the court, saying it is unfairly targeting the continent. All cases open before the ICC are African.
Some nations, such as Uganda and Ethiopia, have voiced support for the ICC dropping the case against Kenya's top two politicians.