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

    Video Somali, AU Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    Somalia’s Western backers frustrated over country’s slow progress in establishing its armed forces to bring security after 25 years of chaos

    Israel Makes Push for Gaza Strip Recovery

    After years of economic blockade and attempts to disable Hamas, Israeli leaders eventually realized that Hamas’ downfall could lead to chaos or the rise of a more radical Jihadist group

    Slump in Chinese Tourists Hitting Hong Kong Retail

    Mainland Chinese account for up to three-quarters of visitors to Hong Kong, but that number is falling, and shopping centers are struggling to 'shift gears' and maintain sales

    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.
    Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shababi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    April 28, 2016 4:20 PM
    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Town Receives Refugees but Lacks Resources

    A wave of refugees is pouring into the Kurdish town of Afrin in northern Syria as a result of fighting between rebel forces and Islamic State militants. VOA’s Amina Misto went to the town and reports local authorities are finding it difficult to cope with this influx of internally displaced people. Bronwyn Benito narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Build Human Tissue on Animal Matrix

    The question has always been, if a gecko can grow back its tail, why can't we regenerate our lost body parts? Well, maybe we can, someday. Scientists are moving towards the ability to rebuild fully functioning organs, and have made significant progress replacing muscles and other tissue.
    Video

    Video Containing Chernobyl Radiation Continues 30 Years After Explosion

    April 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Hundreds were killed following the explosion and it's estimated that thousands more have died from cancers caused by the radiation. Henry Ridgwell traveled to Chernobyl and reports for VOA on the continuing efforts to decommission the site -- and on the fledgling plans for a new future in the vast exclusion zone.
    Video

    Video Frustration Builds Among Refugees Trapped at Macedonian Border

    On the Greek border with Macedonia, 12,000 refugees continue to wait. Since the route to the rest of Europe was closed last month, the makeshift camp at Idomeni has seen protests and tear gas. But while those here wait, their frustration grows — as do reports of people attempting to find new ways of continuing their journey. John Owens reports from Idomeni.
    Video

    Video Researchers: Bees Help Kenyan Farmers Fend Off Elephants

    Elephant crop-raiding continues to be a major source of human-wildlife conflict in Kenya, so one elephant researcher is helping to alleviate the problem near Tsavo East National Park with beehive fences, which use elephants’ natural aversion to bees to deter them from farms. VOA’s Jill Craig visited the area ahead of this month's Giants Club Summit, which will bring together dignitaries at Mount Kenya to find solutions to combat poaching, the No. 1 threat to elephants.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora