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Outrage as Kenyan president invited to Britain despite facing war crimes trial for causing a thousand deaths
Saturday, May 04, 2013
The newly-elected President of Kenya has been invited to Britain for a visit despite being due to stand trial for war crimes linked to a thousand deaths.
New Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has been invited to Britain for a visit despite being due to stand trial for war crimes linked to a thousand deaths
Uhuru Kenyatta was elected in March after just scraping past the 50 per cent threshold in votes, despite facing charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.
It 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.
'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.
A source close to the Kenyan presidency and a diplomat both said Kenyatta was likely to travel to the meeting, which aims to build international support for Somalia, where Kenyan troops have battled Islamist militants.
The move reflected the West's desire to keep Kenya as a stable ally at the expense of other principles, Kenyan rights activist GeorgeMorara said.
'It is a U-turn in the UK and the Western world's approach to the whole issue of impunity,' Morara said.
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