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Kenya: ICC Prosecutor Names 2008 Post Election Violence Suspects

The International Criminal Court (ICC)Chief Prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo on Wednesday 15 December, 2010 named 6 top Kenyan personalities believed to bear the most responsibility for the violence witnessed in Kenya in 2008 following a botched election marked by massive irregularities. According to a press release at the ICC website the individuals cited include:

    1. William Samoei Ruto – currently: Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology (suspended), MP for Eldoret North and during the PEV, MP for Eldoret North. The Prosecution considers that he was one of the principal planners and organizers of crimes against PNU supporters;
    2. Henry Kiprono Kosgey – currently: Minister of Industrialization, MP for Tinderet Constituency, ODM Chairman and during the PEV: MP for Tinderet. The Prosecution considers that he was one of the principal planners and organizers of crimes against PNU supporters; and
    3. Joshua Arap Sang – currently Head of Operations, KASS FM and during the PEV: Radio broadcaster. The Prosecution considers that he was one of the principal planners and organizers of crimes against PNU supporters.

And in the second Prosecution case, by:

    4. Francis Kirimi Muthaura – during the PEV and to date: Head of the Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet and Chairman of the National Security Advisory Committee. The Prosecution considers that he authorized the Police to use excessive force against ODM supporters and to facilitate attacks against ODM supporters.
    5. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta – currently: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. The Prosecution considers that during the PEV he helped to mobilize the Mungiki criminal organization to attack ODM supporters; and
    6. Mohamed Hussein Ali – currently: Chief Executive of the Postal Corporation of Kenya and during the PEV he was Commissioner of the Kenya Police. The Prosecution considers that during the PEV he authorized the use of excessive force against ODM supporters and facilitated attacks against ODM supporters.

Discussion about Ocampo's list of six dominated both Twitter and the Kenyan blogosphere for the better part of the day with sharp reactions being witnessed. Twitter Hash tags #Ocampo6 and #Hague6 were trending in Kenya with respect to the issue, a sample of the tweets include :

Sewe Mulamba of Mombasa who “feels betrayed“. He states:

What happened to Raila and Kibaki? #Ocampo #Ocampo6 I thot that they bore greatest responsibility! That was anti-climax

Joseph Obonyo of Nairobi takes a swipe at Kenyan Members of Parliament opposed to the development:

Why are MP…s insisting its a sad day for Kenya? Unless it is in parliament and just exactly what is Ocampo's political party?

Popular Blogger Marvin Tumbo of SocialiteMediaKenya.com makes the observation:

I have not seen one politician supporting the ICC!

Ory Okolloh , Kenyan Ted Fellow and blogger observes:

Listening to Kenyan politicians respond to #hague6 and they are so disconnected from Kenyan people…time for us to disconnect from them.

Alykhan Satchu tweets:

“Kenya is now a volatile country. The politics are bubbling. A lot of change is happening at the same time. Anything is possible.”

Mzalendo: Eye on Kenyan Parliament looks at the possibility of Kenyan MP's establishing a local tribunal to stem the ICC process:

Today the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, filed two applications for summons to appear for the six persons that the Prosecutor’s Office believes are most responsible for Kenya’s 2007/2008 post election violence.There had been progressively spirited attempts to stop the application as well as the case at the ICC.This included a last ditch attempt by the government to set up a local tribunal to try the suspects after numerous attempts had failed.

“Irrespective of what transpires at the ICC on Wednesday 15 December, 2010 and in view of the fact that ICC is only a court of last resort, the Government will establish a local judicial mechanism in accordance with the Rome Statute within the framework of the new Constitution. The only reason that the post-election violence cases are being investigated by the ICC is because there is no appropriate local judicial mechanism which could carry out investigations, prosecutions and determination of the post-election violence cases for international crimes,”

The establishment of a local tribunal is welcome. The ICC will only be dealing with the 6 deemed most responsible for the violence. For comprehensive justice a national mechanism will be needed to try perpetrators that do not fall within this category. The ICC is meant to complement a national process not replace it.

Many of the people I have spoken to are sceptical of the reason behind the sudden willingness to set up a local tribunal. Some have gone as far as to say that the establishment of a local tribunal is not only intended to halt the ICC process, but to create a local mechanism that can be manipulated to protect certain persons.
.

Sue, blogging at Jamii Kenya Blog, believes that the Chairman of the then Kenyan Electoral Commission Mr Samuel Kivuitu should have been cited:

But Mr. Ocampo you forgot one person called Mr. kivutu. The man confused the whole country when he said that he did not know the winner. That alone fueled more violence

The country has remained relatively calm and peaceful despite fears that perhaps violence would rock certain parts of the country upon the announcement of the ICC's list of suspects responsible for Kenya's 2008 post election violence.There have been no known incidents associated with the ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno's announcement.

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