Once again, the Kenyan national anthem has been sung at the International Criminal Court. After the ICC Status Conference ended, supporters of President Uhuru Kenyatta rushed outside to hail their leader in the rain. The Kenyan head of state held a short speech in front of a red-green-black mass full of umbrellas.
By Sophie van Leeuwen
”You’ve presented your evidence. Now everybody knows the truth,” Kenyatta stated a couple of minutes after exiting the ICC building in The Hague. He’s now the first sitting head of state to appear at the ICC as an indictee.
Kenyatta’s case seems to have completely blocked since the prosecutor keeps asking for evidence while the defense claims full cooperation. The ICC judges haven’t made up their mind yet, but the Kenyan visitors in The Hague believe the end of the Kenyatta case is near.
People were pushed back and forth in order to make space for the president on his way out. They were screaming and singing. While shaking hands, Kenyatta seemed confident about his ICC case. ”God bless the Netherlands, God bless Kenya, God bless the ICC and God bless you!”
Kenyatta also said in Kiswahili: „We all know how far we have come. We all know why we are here. We all know where we are going. Everyone can see there is nothing.”
As he made his way to his car some well-dressed ladies blew kisses at him. Once he was in his car, he rolled down the dark tinted window and waved to the crowd. Then he left to have lunch in his chic hotel.
Chairman James Mureu of the Kenyan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who was also at the status conference, told The Hague Trials Kenya that he travelled on the same plane as the president. ”What happened today is bad news for our country. There is ongoing uncertainty, while foreign investors are only interested in a stable country. We want a clear outcome,” he added.
Some other visitors were disappointed. Kenyan student Mawailho, who lives in the Netherlands, said that: ”we expected a verdict! After everything that happened, we thought it would be over. And now there’s another delay. They’ve left us again in confusion.”
Tonight Kenyatta will leave the Netherlands and fly back home, accompanied by part of the Kenyan delegation.
”Normally you shoot a bullet and then you hit. The ICC shot a bullet, and now the bullet is flying around and going nowhere.” That’s Mureu’s take on today’s status conference. He also indicated that he will be flying back home with Kenyatta.
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Lead image: Uhuru Kenyatta outside the ICC (Photos: Sophie van Leeuwen & João Pires/The Hague Trials Kenya)