ICC to probe Kenyan election violence
The International Criminal Court has authorised its prosecutor to carry out a full investigation into the deadly violence that followed Kenya's 2007 presidential election.Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked judges last November to allow him to probe the unrest that claimed about 1,500 lives.
About 350,000 people were also internally displaced following the December 2007 elections.
“The information available provides a reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed on Kenyan territory,” the court said on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Moreno-Ocampo gave judges the names of 20 “senior political and business leaders” he said organised and financed attacks on civilians because of their perceived ethnic or political affiliation.
The 20 were associated with President Mwai Kibaki’s Party of National Unity and the Orange Democratic Movement led by Raila Odinga, which was then in opposition.
Kenyan political analyst Barack Muluka told RFI he welcomed the decision and, given the circumstances, said it was a logical move.
“Since our local justice instruments and systems have failed to address this question, it’s only in order that the international community takes charges of this process."
One of the key questions concerning the investigation will be how much co-operation prosecutors receive from senior politicians.
But Muluka says he doesn’t expect the “collective of individuals” in government - who he believes are “collectively beholden by mutual ill-will” - to be fully forthcoming.
“I expect that either side of the divide that forms the coalition government will be willing to co-operate only to the extent that they are investigating the other side. But I do not think as a government they are going to be committed to assisting the investigators.”