Browse by Region
Kenya: Latest Statements, News and Opinions
10 Jan 2012
Please find below information about recent developments related to the International Criminal Court's (ICC) investigation in Kenya.
This message includes statements from members of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (I), and related news and opinions (II).
Please take note of the Coalition's policy on situations before the ICC (below), which explicitly states that the CICC will not take a position on potential and current situations before the Court or situations under analysis. The Coalition, however, will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC.
I. COALITION MEMBER MEDIA STATEMENTS
1. "Kenya: Impact of the ICC Proceedings," International Crisis Group press release, 9 January 2012, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/media-releases/2012/africa/kenya-impact-of-the-icc-proceedings.aspx
"Nairobi/Brussels - While the International Criminal Court (ICC) has a chance to inaugurate a new era of accountability in Kenya, misperceptions could also amplify ethnic tensions ahead of the 2012 elections if its work and limitations are not better explained to the public.
Kenya : Impact of the ICC Proceedings, the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, warns that although the mayhem following the disputed December 2007 presidential elections seemed an exception, violence has been a common feature of the country's politics since the introduction of a multiparty system in 1991. To provide justice to the victims, combat pervasive political impunity and deter future violence, the ICC brought two cases against six suspects who allegedly bore the greatest responsibility. There are fears that if charges are dropped for suspects of one ethnicity and confirmed for those of others, ethnic tensions could increase sharply, regardless of the legal merits.
"The ICC proceedings will have enormous political consequences for both the 2012 elections and the country's stability", says Abdullahi Boru Halakhe, Crisis Group's Horn of Africa Analyst. "Developments in the court will not be viewed by many Kenyans simply as legal decisions, and the timing and framing of proceedings and rulings will inevitably have an impact in heightening or damping down tensions".
Political jockeying and alliance formation have already begun, in part as a response to the ICC proceedings. The two most prominent suspects, Uhuru Kenyatta (the deputy prime minister, finance minister and son of Kenya's first president) and William Ruto (the former agriculture and higher education minister), as well as the vice president and many other like-minded politicians, are exploring the possibility of uniting behind one candidate. The ICC is expected to announce in late January whether it has confirmed charges against each of the six suspects. If the court, as is expected, hands down a decision on all charges on the same day, this could be a crucial step to help defuse a rise in ethnic tensions.
But if the ICC process is to contribute to the deterrence of future political violence in Kenya, both the court and its friends must explain its work and limitations better to the public. While still popular, approval of the ICC has been declining, due to deft media manipulation by the suspects and their lawyers. In order to counter misrepresentations of the court's decisions, the ICC and its supporters, including civil society and other friends, should conduct greater outreach to explain its mandate, workings and process.
Furthermore, Kenya's government must complement the international process with a national process aimed at countering impunity and punishing ethnic-hate speech and violence. It should direct the deputy public prosecutor to investigate and prosecute in domestic courts other individuals suspected of involvement in the post-election violence. It should also support Willy Mutunga, the new chief justice, in his efforts to reform the judiciary and restore public faith in Kenya's system.
"To many Kenyans, the ICC's involvement sends a signal that entrenched impunity for wealthy and powerful politicians will not be permitted to endure", says EJ Hogendoorn, Crisis Group's Horn of Africa Project Director. "For a political class used to impunity, this is a likely game changer for how politics are conducted in the country"."
READ THE BRIEFING: "Kenya: Impact of the ICC Proceedings" International Crisis Group Policy Briefing Africa Briefing N°84, Nairobi/Brussels, 9 January 2012, http://www.coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/ICG_-_Kenya_-_Impact_of_the_ICC_Proceedings.pdf
2. "Kenya: Prosecute Perpetrators of Post-Election Violence: Create Special Judicial Mechanism to Deliver Justice for Victims," Human Rights Watch media statement, 9 December 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/09/kenya-prosecute-perpetrators-post-election-violence
"(Nairobi) - Four years after the 2007-2008 post-election violence, the Kenyan police and judicial system have failed to adequately investigate and prosecute crimes and to ensure justice for victims, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. While the International Criminal Court (ICC) has taken on a handful of key cases, Kenya should establish a special judicial mechanism in its justice system to bring broader accountability, Human Rights Watch said. It should also provide compensation for victims, starting with the 21 or more victims of police shootings who have won civil suits against the Attorney General, but to whom the government has failed to pay court-ordered compensation.
The 95-page report, "'Turning Pebbles': Evading Accountability for Post-Election Violence in Kenya," examines the police and judicial response to the violence following the 2007 elections, which pitted ruling party supporters and the police against opposition-linked armed groups and civilians. Human Rights Watch found that of the 1,133 or more killings committed during the violence, only two have resulted in murder convictions. Victims of rape, assault, arson, and other crimes similarly await justice. Police officers, who killed at least 405 people during the violence, injured over 500 more, and raped dozens of women and girls, enjoy absolute impunity.
"Kenyan officials have repeatedly promised to investigate and prosecute the post-election violence, but the handful of convictions demonstrates a lack of will to follow through," said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "Kenya should tackle these cases head on with a special judicial mechanism strengthened by international judges and prosecutors and insulated from political interference."
The report is based on 172 interviews and analysis of 76 court files in Nairobi, Rift Valley, Western, Nyanza, and Coast provinces.
The ICC prosecutor has brought cases against six high-profile suspects accused of crimes against humanity. The cases have progressed despite a series of political and legal maneuvers by the Kenyan authorities to try to postpone or prevent prosecutions. A pretrial chamber is expected to decide in January 2012 whether there is enough evidence for the cases to proceed.
One Kenyan activist told Human Rights Watch the ICC is "the first institution [Kenyan politicians] have come across that they cannot bribe, kill, or intimidate," making it the focus of many victims' hope for justice. But hundreds of other perpetrators of serious crimes continue to evade accountability. These crimes include the more than 1,000 killings and 300 enforced disappearances in Kenya's Mt. Elgon region, also linked to the election violence. ."
READ THE REPORT: "Turning Pebbles: Evading Accountability for Post-Election Violence in Kenya," Human Rights Watch, 9 December 2011, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/12/09/turning-pebbles-0
II. RELATED NEWS AND OPINION
1. "The 4 possible outcomes of Kenya's ICC cases," by Judie Kaberia, Capital FM., 10 January 2012, http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2012/01/the-4-possible-outcomes-of-kenyaâ€™s-icc-cases/
2. "ICC MUST WARN KENYAN POLITICIANS ON INCITEMENT TO VIOLENCE, SAYS NGO," Hirondelle, 9 January 2012, http://www.hirondellenews.com/content/view/15139/564/
3. "Why the Kenyan case matters for ICC," Daily Nation, 7 January 2012, http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Why+the+Kenyan+case+matters+for+ICC+/-/1064/1301766/-/5fip6pz/-/index.html
4. "Anxiety as Kenyans await ICC ruling," Daily Nation, 7 January 2012, http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Anxiety+as+Kenyans+await+ICC+ruling/-/1064/1301732/-/m66tg6/-/index.html
5. "ICC may change the balance of power in 2012," Daily Nation, 7 January 2012, http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/ICC+may+change+the+balance+of+power+in+2012+/-/440808/1301776/-/agm1o9/-/index.html
6. "Weak arguments cost Kenya chance to try suspects," Daily Nation, 7 January 2012, http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Weak+arguments+cost+Kenya+chance+to+try+suspects+/-/1064/1301758/-/g5ssud/-/index.html
7. "New report says 5,000 election violence cases stalled due to lack of evidence," Daily Nation, 7 January 2012, http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/New+report+says+5000+election+violence+cases+stalled/-/1064/1301754/-/iwg1c2z/-/index.html
8. "Tension grips northern Kenya ahead of ICC ruling," 7 January 2012, Daily Monitor, http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/1300990/-/b24ikrz/-/index.html
9. "Options for Ocampo and the Six Suspects," Daily Nation, 7 January 2012, http://allafrica.com/stories/201201090715.html
10. "ICC booklet now in local languages," Standard, 6 January 2012, http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000049529&cid=4&ttl=ICC booklet now in local languages
11. "FACTBOX-Key political risks to watch in Kenya," by James Macharia, Reuters, 6 January 2012, http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFRISKKE20120106?sp=true
12. "ICC witness held for assaulting protection officer," Nairobi Star, 6 January 2012, http://www.the-star.co.ke/national/national/56849-icc-witness-held-for-assaulting-protection-officer
13. "Respect ICC decision, Mutula urges Ocampo Six," Nairobi Star, 6 January 2012, http://www.the-star.co.ke/national/national/56724-respect-icc-decision-mutula-urges-ocampo-six
14. "Lawyer Anyah holds hope for 2008 poll chaos victims," Capital FM News, 4 January 2012, http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2012/01/lawyer-anyah-holds-hope-for-2008-poll-chaos-victims/
15. "Parallels in Mbarushimana verdict and Kenya ICC cases," Capital FM News, 4 January 2012, http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2012/01/parallels-in-mbarushimana-verdict-and-kenya-icc-cases/
16. "Tension grips region ahead of ICC ruling," Daily Nation, 4 January 2012, http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Tension+grips+region+ahead+of+ICC+ruling+/-/1056/1300258/-/jlmvkbz/-/
17. "Kenyans Still Living in Camps From '07 Elections," VOA, 4 January 2012, http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Kenyans-Still-Living-in-Camps-from-07-Elections-136669333.html
18. "Ocampo Six take solace in Rwanda case," Nairobi Star, 4 January 2012, http://www.the-star.co.ke/national/national/56336-ocampo-six-take-solace-in-rwanda-case
19. "Civil society groups on Rift Valley ICC peace campaign," Nairobi Star, 4 January 2012, http://www.the-star.co.ke/local/rift-valley/56398-civil-society-groups-on-rift-valley-icc-peace-campaign
20. "ICC Prosecutor Urged to Seek Further Kenya Charges," Alertnet, 3 January 2012, http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/icc-prosecutor-urged-to-seek-further-kenya-charges
21. "Countdown to Ocampo Six ruling after ICC recess," By Wahome Thuku, The Standard, 3 January 2011, http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/sports/InsidePage.php?id=2000049402&cid=4
22. "Media Urged to Be Objective On Ocampo Six Reporting," Nairobi Star, 2 January 2012, http://allafrica.com/stories/201201030827.html
23. "Fairness pledge as ICC judges prepare ruling on Ocampo Six," Daily Nation, 27 December 2011, http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Fairness+pledge+as+ICC+judges+prepare+ruling/-/1064/1296164/-/b7265j/-/
CICC's policy on the referral and prosecution of situations before the ICC:
The Coalition for the ICC is not an organ of the court. The CICC is an independent NGO movement dedicated to the establishment of the International Criminal Court as a fair, effective, and independent international organization. The Coalition will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Coalition will also endeavor to respond to basic queries and to raise awareness about the ICC's trigger mechanisms and procedures, as they develop. The Coalition as a whole, and its secretariat, do not endorse or promote specific investigations or prosecutions or take a position on situations before the ICC. However, individual CICC members may endorse referrals, provide legal and other support on investigations, or develop partnerships with local and other organizations in the course of their efforts. Communications to the
ICC can be sent to: ICC P.O. box 19519 2500 CM The Hague, the Netherlands