Today the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, was in Nairobi. She’ll be here for the next week, meeting with a mixed bag of people and groups, from judicial officers to security personnel; from president to pauper; from IDPs to
Reading her statement to the media this afternoon, one can sense the caution with which the court treads in these cases. Constant themes include ‘respect’ and ‘listening’. But hidden beneath this soft tone of humility were some sharp rebukes The statement mentions efforts to interfere with witnesses and evidence. There’s a pointed reference here to delays in the government processing requests for information.
The implication for me is that for all the courtesy, this is not a meet and greet trip. Rather I see it as an effort to sustain pressure on the Kenya government whose attitude to the court can at best be summed up as neutral. There is genuine worry at the court about the level of cooperation to be expected from the state as the cases gather momentum. Of course the government is careful to say all the right things in public.
Another pointed reference: “The ICC judicial process will also take its own course irrespective of the political choices that the people of Kenya make.” In case you missed it, that was telling the accused to expect to be at the Hague in April, whether or not they are in the next government.
Her full statement to the media is available here.