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Kenya seeks Guyana and CARICOM support on ICC

NEW YORK, USA -- Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta used his visit to New York attend the 70th anniversary of the United Nations to rally support from Caribbean countries to change an International Criminal Court (ICC) rule at the upcoming November meeting of the Assembly of State Parties.

As part of this effort, he met with Guyana's President David Granger and Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda on Sunday, and on Monday also held bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

At issue is Rule 68, which was adopted with assurances that it would not be applied retrospectively to the detriment of Kenyans facing charges at the ICC. However, the legal instrument is being applied in a case facing Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Josua Sang.

After his meeting with Granger, Uhuru said, "I sought his support for Kenya’s push to amend an International Criminal Court rule at the next Assembly of State Parties."

During his meeting with Caribbean leaders, Uhuru Kenyatta recalled his country's close ties with the Caribbean.

"Kenya has had deep links with Caribbean countries over the course of her history, including the fact that Kenya’s first chief justice, Cecil Henry Ethelwood Miller, was a native of Guyana. The international legal team that defended founding President Jomo Kenyatta when he was jailed during the independence struggle was assembled by Jamaican lawyer Dudley Thompson," he noted.

Kenyatta promised to renew historical ties with the Caribbean, which he admitted were not sustained after independence.

"We resolved that Kenya will renew its historical links with Caribbean countries, that were not sustained after independence, to enhance trade and people relations," he said.

Kenyatta has given his foreign affairs minister, Amina Mohamed, a mandate to renew and expand diplomatic ties with the Caribbean.

During his meeting with Granger, Kenyatta offered Kenya’s support for Guyana in the border dispute with Venezuela.

The leaders of Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda and St Vincent and the Grenadines all assured President Kenyatta that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will stand with Kenya in this matter.

The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda said, "We have an opportunity to build on the foundations set by our founding leaders."

Browne also announced the removal of visas for Kenyans wishing to visit Antigua and Barbuda, and more CARICOM countries are expected to do the same.

"We promise you of the support of Antigua and Barbuda as well as the whole of CARICOM countries," he said.

Courtesy: Caribbean News Now

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