ADDIS ABABA – Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto, facing charges of crimes against humanity, will come to Japan this week for the big international conference on development in Africa, government and other sources said.
Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta have been accused by the International Criminal Court of orchestrating violence that reportedly left more than 1,000 people dead after the 2007 presidential election. Both Ruto and Kenyatta have denied the charges.
He is to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe while attending the Tokyo International Conference on African Development from Saturday to Monday. The Japanese government has concluded that Ruto’s participation in the conference won’t cause any problems because he has promised to cooperate with the court, the sources said.
The Japanese government initially asked Kenyatta, who won the presidential election in March, to join the TICAD meeting. But he will remain in Kenya to mark Saturday’s 50th anniversary of internal self-rule from Britain, with Ruto attending the summit on his behalf.
The ICC has accused Kenyatta and Ruto of masterminding weeks of unrest between supporters of the two candidates in the 2007 presidential election.
A series of aid steps for Africa are expected to be unveiled at the TICAD conference in Yokohama. Japan plans to offer around ¥10 billion in official development assistance to bolster human resources in Africa as it aims to strengthen business ties on the continent.
The government hopes to encourage more Japanese firms to seek out business opportunities in Africa, with the aim of building an experienced workforce and networks between Japanese companies and local governments.