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

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora