Botswana minister denies apologising to Kenya over ICC trial

Botswana’s Foreign Affairs minister Phandu Skelemani. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Botswana's Foreign minister Phandu Skelemani has denied reports that he had apologised to Kenya for comments he made about that country's president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his International Criminal Court (ICC) case.

Botswana online publication Mmegionline quoted the minister as saying: "I have nothing to apologise for."

Mr Skelemani was last week reported as warning Mr Kenyatta not to set foot in Botswana should he refuse to cooperate with ICC.

However, in what seemed to be a U-turn, Mr Skelemani was reported as saying that Mr Kenyatta was free to visit his country as he was ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

“This is to retract my statement made earlier about the President elect of Kenya. The President elect of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta is more than welcome to visit Botswana'', the Gaborone minister was quoted as saying.

Mmegionline further said Gaborone had issued a statement "to clarify a recent statement'' attributed Mr Skelemani on the question of the ICC and its processes".

It quoted the southern African state government saying the minister's position on a hypothetical visit to Botswana by Mr Kenyatta was aimed at merely explaining the rules of the ICC and obligations of members of the court.

"In this context, he indicated that as can be expected, any member of the court is bound by its rules," the statement said.

Mr Kenyatta has, so far, cooperated with ICC and he has pledged to continue doing so even as the President of Kenya.

Can Kiir deliver on his promise of peace and stability in South Sudan?

Read Story:Can Kiir deliver on his promise of peace and stability in South Sudan?