By Njonjo Mue
Today is the closing day of the ICC Assembly of State Parties meeting here in The Hague. It has been a long and grueling two weeks.
The Kenya government brought out a huge delegation led by Amb. Amina Mohammed and AG Githu Muigai and including the DPP, the Deputy Solicitor General, Kenya’s Ambassador to the Netherlands and myriad officials from Nairobi, The Hague, Brussels and other missions nearby.
They were variously joined by MPs and supporters like David Matsanga and Moses Kuria and Spokesman in the presidency Manoah Esipisu.
Their brief was simple, get as many concessions from the ICC for Kenyatta and Ruto as they could. Their strategy was straight forward: Aim for the sun and hope to reach the moon – demand the ridiculous and hope to get the unreasonable. … And so it began on the opening day with angry speeches made from the floor of the plenary.
Then the debate on head of state immunity on Day 2 that went late into the night where Prof. Githu Muigai seemed to lose touch with reality claiming that Kenya was responsible for the security of 250 million Africans from Djibouti to DRC.
There were various side events they attended and spoke angrily, attacking the messenger because they no longer had a monopoly over the message: Who does civil society speak for? Who paid for you to be here? Why are civil society allowed to address the ASP?
At one point, during a debate on prosecuting heads of state on which I was a panelist, second tier government officials choreographed a bear knuckle frontal attack on me and when I responded to their allegations and accusations, they dramatically stormed out of the meeting leaving the international audience rather bemused.
All the while there was serious ongoing lobbying on the language of the amendments Kenya was pushing through to ensure that Uhuru Kenyatta does not appear for trial, and we pushed back as best as Â we could speaking to state parties and pointing out the fact that Kenya was trying to amend the Rome Statute by the back door.
We have been called names on social media and fellow countrymen and women here have accused us of unpatriotic behavior claiming we ‘want our President to be jailed.’
But we have been too busy defending the rule of law to respond to these attacks. We will leave history to be the judge.
And so as the curtain comes down on the ASP, we return home with a sense of satisfaction in the knowledge that since the government of Kenya has been privatized and deployed to speak for two people, these last two weeks, we have done our best to be the voice of those who are not able to speak for themselves.
Njonjo Mue, a Rhodes Scholar, is a human rights lawyer who was part of the civil society group at the Hague pushing for justice for victims of the 2008 post-election violence.
This article first appeared as Â Face book update.