Kenya to set up election violence tribunal



Kenya to set up election violence tribunal Nairobi: The International Criminal Court prosecutor on Tuesday commended Kenya's political leaders — and even four suspects accused of orchestrating mass violence — for cooperating with the international tribunal, saying that Kenya is "showing a 21st-century model to manage conflict."

Luis Moreno-Ocampo said it could take 18 months or more to bring to trial four Kenyans charged with crimes against humanity for violence that followed the country's 2007 presidential election. More than 1,000 people died.

Nairobi: The International Criminal Court prosecutor on Tuesday commended Kenya's political leaders — and even four suspects accused of orchestrating mass violence — for cooperating with the international tribunal, saying that Kenya is "showing a 21st-century model to manage conflict."

Luis Moreno-Ocampo said it could take 18 months or more to bring to trial four Kenyans charged with crimes against humanity for violence that followed the country's 2007 presidential election. More than 1,000 people died.

Muigai also said that Kenya is looking at setting up a special division inside its Supreme Court to deal with cases stemming from the election violence. Kenya exploded in tribal and other attacks after President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of a flawed election.

Kenya has never brought cases related to the violence to trial, though Muigai said he has 5,000 files related to the postelection period and said it is time that the legal process "be energized" in Kenya. The country's parliament defeated two attempts to create a special tribunal to prosecute cases, votes seen as a way for Kenya's powerful to protect their own.

Muigai did not give a timeline for the tribunal to begin its work. He said Kenya will fully cooperate with the ICC as it moves forward with its cases against the four prominent Kenyans, adding: "It is our legal obligation."

Along with Kenyatta and Ruto, Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura and radio broadcaster Joshua Arap Sang were also charged by the court on Monday.

After the mass violence broke out, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan helped broker a deal that saw Kibaki retain the presidency and his top rival, Raila Odinga, fill the newly created position of prime minister. The coalition government has held together the last four years, and political leaders here say violence is no longer a tool that will be used — a claim that will be tested during the next presidential election.

"For the last four years, they made this miracle. They have this coalition government ... working together, when in the past they were attacking each other," Moreno-Ocampo said.

Bureau Report