News / Africa

    ICC: 4 Kenyans to Face Trial for Post-Election Violence

    Suspects: Top from left, Mohammed Hussein Ali, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, William Samoei Ruto; Henry Kiprono Kosgey, Joshua Arap Sang, Francis Kirimi Muthaura (undated file image).
    Suspects: Top from left, Mohammed Hussein Ali, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, William Samoei Ruto; Henry Kiprono Kosgey, Joshua Arap Sang, Francis Kirimi Muthaura (undated file image).

    The Hague-based International Criminal Court, or ICC, has ruled that four Kenyans accused of masterminding Kenya’s 2007-to-2008 post-election violence must stand trial, while charges against two other Kenyans were dropped due to insufficient evidence.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, former agriculture and higher education minister William Ruto, civil service head Francis Muthaura, and radio presenter Joshua Sang will all have their day in court.

    Meanwhile, Postmaster General and former police commissioner Mohammed Hussein Ali and suspended industrialization minister Henry Kosgey are off the hook. All six Kenyans faced various charges related to the countrywide ethnic violence that followed the bitterly disputed 2007 elections in which more than 300,000 people were displaced and some 1,300 were killed.

    Shortly after the ICC's announcement Monday, presidential hopeful William Ruto held a press conference at his Nairobi residence that aired on Kenyan television. At one point, he addressed his presidential competitors saying, in his words, "let us meet at the ballot."

    "I have been, I am, and I will forever be a stranger to the allegations that have been made against me," said Ruto. "As a result, while a decision to confirm the charges has been made, my legal team will move expeditiously to analyze different actions that we will take as a team. I am persuaded and I am clear in my mind that it doesn’t matter how long it takes -- the truth finally will prevail and my innocence confirmed."

    Kenyatta, meanwhile, said he is still planning to run for president in the east African country's upcoming elections, the exact date of which remains unknown.

    ICC prosecutors had accused the six suspects of various crimes against humanity. In the cases of Ruto, Kosgey and Sang, charges included murder, deportation or forcible transfer of a population and persecution. Charges levied against Kenyatta, Muthaura and Ali included murder, deportation or forcible transfer of a population, rape, persecution and inhumane acts.

    Evidence against Kosgey and Ali was ruled insufficient for trial, but the court will proceed with cases against Ruto, Kenyatta, Muthaura and Sang. Opening dates for the trials have not been set.

    The ruling, which was delivered from The Hague Monday by ICC Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova, warned suspects not to engage in any behavior that could compromise their cases or the well-being of Kenyans.

    "At this point, the chamber recalls its previous warning to the suspects that their continued liberty is subject to their non-engagement in incitements of violence or hate speech," she said.

    She emphasized that Monday’s ruling was merely whether to go forward with the cases based on evidence and did not establish suspects’ guilt or innocence.

    George Wainaina, chairman of Kenya's National Council of Non-Governmental Organizations, said he welcomed Monday’s developments, calling it a radical departure from the Kenya of the past.

    "We have suffered impunity a great deal," he said. "A lot of things have been done without any thought somebody might query this. The fact that some people have been taken to court helps in curbing or bringing down impunity."

    Ahead of the ICC ruling, Kenyan government authorities said they were tightening security and appealed to Kenyans to remain calm and act peacefully. There are concerns the ruling could kick up protests or new violence in the country, where many Kenyans, including some lawmakers, say the country should conduct its own trials of the post-election violence suspects.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.