International Criminal Court summit opens amid strained relations with African Union

The International Criminal Court's annual summit of member states is debating the court's relationship with Africa, which is under severe strain because of the prosecution of Kenya's president and his deputy.

Kenyan Vice President William Ruto is on trial for allegedly fomenting violence in the aftermath of his country's 2007 elections and President Uhuru Kenyatta is due to go on trial in February on similar charges. Both men insist they are innocent.

The cases are progressing despite efforts by the African Union to halt them. Last week, the U.N. Security Council rejected a resolution calling for the Kenya cases to be deferred by a year.

Delegates agreed Wednesday to hold a special session Thursday on the African Union's proposal that sitting heads of state should not be prosecuted.