Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

  • Israel hits targets in Gaza despite diplomatic efforts for ceasefire

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

Africa

Kenyatta to make official visit to UK amid ICC charges

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-05-06

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is expected to stand trial in July at the International Criminal Court on crimes against humanity charges, will make his first official post-election trip to the UK on Sunday at the government’s invitation.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC), is expected to visit London on Sunday at Britain’s invitation for a conference on Somalia, and for "bilateral meetings" with British Prime Minister David Cameron, an official Kenyan statement read.

The three-day official visit will be his first trip to a Western capital since his election in March.

Britain and other countries said before his victory that, if he won, they would only have “essential contacts” with him because of the court case. Kenyatta goes on trial in July at The Hague-based ICC for crimes related to post-election violence in 2007-2008.

“Kenya is a vital partner on Somalia and we judge our contact according to the issue concerned,” a spokesman for Britain’s Foreign Office said.

Kenya was playing a crucial role in stabilising neighbouring Somalia and housing refugees, he added.

However, Kenyan rights activist GeorgeMorara said the move reflected the West’s desire to keep Kenya as a stable ally at the expense of other principles.

“It is a U-turn in the UK and the Western world’s approach to the whole issue of impunity,” Morara said.

Ally in fight against Islamist militancy

Western states view Kenya as an ally in their battle against Islamist militancy in the region and it has sent about 5,000 troops to Somalia as part of an African force that has driven back al Shabaab Islamist fighters.

The British spokesman said the decision to invite Kenyatta was taken in part because the president had committed to cooperating with the court in The Hague.

Britain’s high commissioner (ambassador) to Kenya, Christian Turner, whose remarks about essential contacts had angered Kenyatta’s backers in the former British colony, offered the invitation during a meeting with him on Wednesday.

After the election result, Western diplomats had privately indicated that they would take a pragmatic or “flexible” approach in assessing the level of contacts with Kenyatta, 51.

As well as concerns about alienating an ally, Western powers are wary of jeopardising trade ties with east Africa’s biggest economy and worry the diplomatic wrangle could open the way for China and other Asian states to extend their influence.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-05-06

  • KENYA

    Uhuru Kenyatta sworn in as Kenya's president

    Read more

  • KENYA

    Kenyatta blasts UK – with a little help from British PR

    Read more

COMMENT(S)