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Jonathan addresses Kenya parly before crucial vote

05 September 2013, 13:34

Lagos - President Goodluck Jonathan is scheduled to address the Kenyan Parliament before a key planned vote to determine if the East African country pulls out of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Jonathan has embarked on a three-day state visit to Kenya beginning Thursday as part of efforts to boost bilateral cooperation.

The visit is a follow-up to a similar tour to Abuja by President Uhuru Kenyatta in July.

Although Jonathan's visit focuses on the expansion of cooperation between the two countries in the areas of trade, economic development, agriculture and tourism development, it was established he will also address that country’s Parliament before the commencing of voting on whether Kenya should pull out of the Rome Statute that created the ICC in 2002.

It however is unclear if Jonathan will speak on the matter.

Kenyan Members of Parliament are divided on the move as the trial of Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, approaches.

The trial is scheduled to begin in November at The Hague in Netherlands.

The leaders face war crimes charges for their alleged role in post-election violence in 2007. The skirmishes left at least 1 000 people dead and another 600 000 displaced.

The pair denies the charges.

While some notable Africa human right bodies have condemned Kenyan's plan pull out, ICC has been accused by many, including the African Union, for primarily targeting leaders from the continent. To date, most of the ICC's cases are from African countries.

Meanwhile, Jonathan is leading a delegation that includes the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture and Rural Development, Industry, Trade and Investment, Interior, Petroleum Resources and Culture, Tourism and National Orientation.

– CAJ News


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