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Envoys fly back after Hague briefing

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Denzel Musumba

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The envoys recalled for briefing on the ICC trials have returned to their stations. They met President Kibaki on Tuesday at his Harambee House office on the second day of the drive to harmonise the campaign to defer the trial of six people accused of perpetrating post-election violence. Most of the envoys are based at UN Security Council member-states where they are expected to lobby for a deferral of the expected trials by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Acting Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Patrick Wamoto down-played the meeting, saying the agenda was broad. “We called them for consultation on various key issues such as the ICC, Somalia and Sudan and to update them on the progress made so far in the implementation of the new Constitution,” Mr Wamoto said. He described the briefing as routine. “We usually have meetings of all our envoys every two years but in between, we can ask them to come whenever there are issues we wish to discuss with them,” said Mr Wamoto. The meeting was attended by top government officials. Justice permanent secretary Amina Mohammed took the team through the Status of Implementation of Agenda 4. President Kibaki’s adviser on constitutional affairs, Prof Kivutha Kibwana, discussed the new Constitution and implementation challenges, while Dr Kithure Kindiki — who is representing Eldoret North MP William Ruto at The Hague — spoke on the principle of complementarity and the question of deferrals. Mr Wamoto updated the envoys on Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka’s shuttle diplomacy, while Dr Monica Juma, the envoy to Ethiopia, gave the African Union’s take on the deferrals. Mr Macharia Kamau, the permanent representative to the United Nations, spoke on the UN perspective and Prof Ruthie Rono, the envoy to The Netherlands, discussed The Hague perspective. This came as Dutch ambassador Laetitia van den Assum questioned the merit for seeking a deferral.

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