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"We Had Fruitful Discussions," Kenya's ODM Says After Meeting With Kofi Annan

In Kenya, the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) which said it won the December 27 elections, has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court in The Hague against President Mwai Kibaki and the government for crimes against humanity and state-sponsored terrorism. ODM secretary-general Peter Anyang Nyong’o said Kenyan police have killed more than 1,000 post-election protesters and wounded tens of thousands.

Meanwhile, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and his team of mediators held their first meeting Wednesday evening with opposition ODM leader Raila Odinga. ODM Secretary General Nyong’o told VOA the ODM presented Mr. Annan with its proposals on how to resolve Kenya’s post-election crisis.

“We had very fruitful discussions with Mr. Annan and his team of mediators which includes former President of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa and Madam Graca Machel. We discussed with the former Secretary General and his team on the modalities of carrying out discussion. We also discussed with the former Secretary-General what we view as the time frame and the urgency of coming out with a proper solution to the crisis, underscoring the fact that we do not want a quick fix, that we want an in depth analysis of the causes of the crisis and coming up with a framework that would address both immediate issues and long-term issues,” he said.

Nyong’o would not say whether ODM leader Odinga would meet face-to-face with President Kibaki during Mr. Annan’s visit.

“That is not as urgent as agreeing first and foremost on the rules of engagement. And hence when Mr. Odinga meets Mr. Kibaki they will meeting to agree and to put their firm approval on the rules engagement and therefore what would make their eventual discussion useful to all parties concerned. I do not think we are going to be for a public relations exercise where they just meet and greet each other and leave,” Nyong’o said.

He said the ODM has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court in The Hague against President Mwai Kibaki and the government for crimes against humanity and state-sponsored terrorism.

“We have launched a complaint to the International Criminal Court because the continued use by Kibaki of the security forces to kill people under the pretext of suppressing demonstrations in various cities in Kenya,” Nyong’o said.

He said ordinary citizens have the right to sue their government with the International Criminal Court.

“Under the International Criminal Court, just like in every nation, you can have what they call citizens’ arrest. In the International Criminal Court anyone anywhere in the world has the right to complain against state terrorism in their country,” he said.

Nyong’o said a quick response by the court would deter the Kenyan government from continuing with what he called its crimes.

“To initiate an investigation into crimes against humanity here with the view of establishing whether or not we have case against the administration here and therefore to let us have the right to appear before the court for our case to prosecuted,” Nyong’o said.

Meanwhile, Nyong’o said the ODM has temporarily suspended its planned rallies for Thursday because of the visit of former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.

“We have asked our people to remain indoor as we Kofi Annan and his team a day to initiate the discussions. But we reserve the right to demonstrate peacefully as we give our people the opportunity to continue participating in the struggle for peace and making their voices known both locally and internationally. But for today we are asking the people to stay at home and pray for those who have departed, and pray for justice and peace in our nation,” Nyong’o said.