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Kenyans Welcome ICC Ruling on Ruto


FILE - Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto awaits the start of his trial, Sept. 10, 2013.

FILE - Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto awaits the start of his trial, Sept. 10, 2013.

The International Criminal Court judges ruled Tuesday on a 2-1 vote there was insufficient evidence to continue the case against Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and his co-defendant, broadcaster Joshua Arap Sang.

Ruto and Sang had been charged with three counts of crimes against humanity for acts allegedly committed during the deadly violence that followed Kenya's disputed 2007 elections.

Kenyans who spoke to VOA generally welcomed the ruling.

Taxi operator Shaban Njoroge said terminating the case was the right decision.

"We are praying our country to go forward,” Njoroge said. “We don't want to remember those things that happened before 2007 and whatever; what we want is we want peace in our country."

Okiya Omtatah also welcomed the ruling.

"If it was a question of political responsibility, it would have been President Mwai Kibaki and then Prime Minister Raila Odinga who were vying for seats and these are the people who should have been taken to task,” Omtatah said. “They were never taken to task because of political considerations, and so having gone for the mid-level people, we felt that it was injustice from day one."

Governance and security strategist Mummoh Nzau hopes the country and affected communities can now focus on peace.

"This is good for social cohesion,” Nzau said. “The country in the first place was somewhat at pains with the whole process. There are, of course, people who have been aggrieved since the post-election violence in 2007, but we believe that this is a unifying thing and the country can pull forward together."

Samuel Muhochi, executive director at the International Commission of Jurists, disagreed. He spoke to VOA moments after the ruling, saying the victims of the post-election violence are likely to be disappointed.

"Their quest for justice will have been nipped in the bud,” Muhochi said. “The victims will never get to know their truth on what really transpired, and bearing in mind that there [have] been measures to bring to closure the post-election violence issue in Kenya, then the victims will not access any justice."

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