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Kenyans Are Anxious as ICC Investigators Arrive, Says Rights Activist

  • Peter Clottey

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki (C) and Kenyan PM Raila Odinga (R) greeting the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo (L), ahead of their meeting in Nairobi, 05 Nov 2009 (Kenyan Presidential press service office)

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki (C) and Kenyan PM Raila Odinga (R) greeting the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo (L), ahead of their meeting in Nairobi, 05 Nov 2009 (Kenyan Presidential press service office)

The Vice Chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights says expectations of Kenyans are “dangerously” high ahead of the scheduled arrival of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigators in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi Thursday.

The Vice Chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights says expectations of Kenyans are “dangerously” high ahead of the scheduled arrival of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigators in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi Thursday.

Hassan Omar said the investigators will be laying the foundation for inquiry into Kenya’s 2007 post-election violence.

“I do believe that it is an initial meeting that is an interaction to simply get firsthand what is the terrain in Kenya… with respect to the investigation. They will be able to identify critical access if they want to relate with or interact with during the course of the investigation. Because it is not possible that they have support from government or the cooperation will be absolute,” he said.

Kenya media reported that the ICC investigations could be broadened to include the recent extra-judicial killings of members of a banned Mungiki sect that was accused of beheading innocent Kenyans in Nairobi, Central and Rift Valley Provinces.

Judges of the International Criminal Court recently approved the court’s chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s request to open an investigation into Kenya’s post election violence.

The chief prosecutor also announced that he will investigate any violations of human rights that occurred between June 1, 2005 and November 2009.

In June 2005, Kenya signed the Rome Statute that created the ICC which paves the way for The Hague based court to tackle any crimes against humanity in the country.

Analysts say Kenya’s National Commission on Human Rights played a pivotal role by presenting documentary evidence and alleged masterminds of the 2007 post-election violence to the chief prosecutor.

Vice Chairman Omar said his organization will be working closely with the ICC investigators.

“It will be as close as the ICC wants. The commission is open to working with the ICC and to cooperate with them and the commission believes that this is a positive step to combat impunity. But by and large it is an independent process and they will have their own latitudes and verify the information independently or to seek new sources of information,” Omar said.

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