AU leaders, including President Zuma, have warned that Kenya would collapse if its president and deputy president were out of the country together at The Hague, for the full duration of their trials.
Speaking in Pretoria South Africa during a state visit by French’s President François Hollande, President Zuma implied that the ICC cases would weaken Kenya and hence lead to a total collapse of government. Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto have been indicted for crimes against humanity, alleging they orchestrated violence against their political opponents after the 2007 elections.
Zuma and Hollande also agreed that Africa and the international community needed to intervene urgently in the growing crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR). Fabius visited CAR on Sunday and reported to Zuma and Hollande yesterday that the situation in the country was getting worse, including the risk of spilling over into the region and of growing religious conflict. Zuma recalled that after the coup in March, the AU and the region had given the new Seleka-lead CAR government 18 months to work towards elections.
On Monday, he said it was clear this was not going to happen. “It therefore needs urgent intervention. And we are agreed with President Hollande that we need to do something, all of us. But certainly that must be within the framework of the AU, the United Nations,” Zuma continued.
“And certainly we will be there,” Zuma added, seemingly suggesting that South Africa was ready to send troops into CAR again.
Zuma and his officials had said after the March coup when Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize – and killing 13 South African troops defending him – that South Africa would return to CAR as part of a regional force if asked.But presidential officials said on Monday such an intervention was still being discussed in government which had not yet made a decision.
Zuma said the AU was trying to develop the capacity to intervene in crises like that in CAR and said he was very happy that Hollande had agreed to support Africa’s efforts.