News / Africa

Kenya Reacts as ICC Names Suspects in Election Chaos

International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo in Nairobi, 02 Dec 2010 (file)
International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo in Nairobi, 02 Dec 2010 (file)
Michael Onyiego

On Wednesday, the International Criminal Court named six high-profile suspects it believes spearheaded the country's political chaos in 2007 and 2008.  There is renewed hope for justice nearly three years later, but many, including some suspects, are surprised by the names included on the list.  

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo released a list of suspects he believes are most responsible for the bloody aftermath of Kenya's December 2007 presidential election.

The list included familiar names, such as former Higher Education Minister William Ruto, who revealed himself to be a suspect in November after flying to The Hague to give a statement.  Ruto is seen as the political leader of Kenya's Kalenjin ethnic group, as well as a dominant political figure in Kenya's Rift Valley, where much of the 2008 violence took place.

Also named was Industrialization Minister Henry Kosgey and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya's first president, who was pegged by many as a key player in the violence.

There was perhaps less speculation surrounding former police commissioner Mohammed Hussein Ali.  The inclusion of journalist Joshua Sang came as a surprise to many.  Sang is the director of Kass FM, a Rift Valley radio station which broadcasts to Kenya's Kalenjin ethnic community.

Head of Kenyan Civil Service Francis Muthaura addresses the media after being named as a suspect in Kenya's post-election chaos by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, 15 Dec. 2010
Head of Kenyan Civil Service Francis Muthaura addresses the media after being named as a suspect in Kenya's post-election chaos by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, 15 Dec. 2010


Perhaps the biggest surprise in the prosecutor's list was the head of Kenya's Civil Service, Francis Muthaura. Speaking to journalists shortly after being named, Muthaura maintained his innocence, but promised to cooperate with the ICC process.

"I thoroughly repudiate any suggestion that I have engaged in any activity that gives rise to responsibility under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court," Muthaura said. "In the event they do decide to issue a summons, I will voluntarily attend The Hague and respect any request the judges of the ICC have of me."

Muthaura was the subject of little speculation leading up to the prosecutor's announcement, and the former ambassador appeared shocked at being named.  He told press that he had not received any communication from Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo during the investigation.  Months earlier, the prosecutor told media that all suspects under investigation had been contacted and invited to give statements at The Hague.

But many in Kenya believe the revelation of the suspects is the first step towards justice for the victims of the violence.  A university student in Nairobi, Sally Rono, told VOA the ICC process would help end impunity in Kenya.

"I know Ocampo is not doing all this just to show us in the end there was nothing wrong with what they did," Rono said. "People got hurt. We are doing this so that we can show those big people - those people who were involved in this thing - we are not joking.  We are so serious."

But there are those who feel the list did not go far enough.  A Kenyan civil servant who asked to be identified as John doubted whether the six suspects carried out the chaos alone.

"If you check the list you can see as if it was Central and Rift Valley, which had the violence.  There must be some names missing on that list," John said. "I do not think those six guys had the capacity to mobilize violence in Mombasa, violence in Kisumu, almost everywhere."

Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo's list is only a request submitted to the International Criminal Court.  Justices will decide in the coming days whether to issue summons for the six suspects to appear at The Hague.

President Kibaki welcomed Moreno-Ocampo's announcement, stressing the suspects were innocent until proven guilty.  Kibaki said the current members of government would be allowed to keep their jobs during the ICC process.

William Ruto, Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura and Henry Kosgey have promised to cooperate with the court.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid