Kenya election violence: ICC's Ocampo to name suspects Skip to main content

Kenya election violence: ICC's Ocampo to name suspects

The scene of clashes in the Rift Valley town of Naivasha (Jan 2008) The violence after the 2007 election took Kenya to the brink of civil war


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The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is set to announce the names of six Kenyans he accuses of being behind the violence that followed the disputed 2007 elections.
Some 1,200 people were killed and more than 500,000 fled their homes.
In the peace deal that followed it was agreed that the perpetrators of the violence would face justice either in Kenya or at the ICC in the Hague.
Kenyan MPs have so far blocked moves to set up a local tribunal.
On Monday, President Mwai Kibaki announced the government would launch its own investigation - a move his critics have denounced as an attempt to prevent suspects being sent to The Hague.
The violence broke out after Mr Kibaki's supporters were accused of trying to rig the presidential election.
It ended when Mr Kibaki and his rival Raila Odinga agreed to share power, with Mr Odinga becoming prime minister.

Kenya's Post-Election Violence

  • Raila Odinga says he was cheated of victory in December 2007 poll by supporters of Mwai Kibaki
  • Protests led to violent clashes with police
  • Supporters of Odinga and Kibaki divided along ethnic lines
  • Nationwide revenge attacks sparked by long-standing land and economic disputes
  • 1,200 killed, 500,000 forced from their homes
  • Violence ended when Odinga and Kibaki agreed to share power
  • Thousands still living in camps
Kenyan police have been put on alert in case the announcement sparks renewed clashes.
ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo is focusing on two cases of post-election violence, which spread throughout the country after protests by Mr Odinga's supporters.
Each of the six will be served with a court summons, but if they fail to turn up or if they attempt to hinder the investigation - for example by intimidating witnesses - Mr Ocampo says he will request arrest warrants.
BBC East Africa correspondent Will Ross says senior politicians are expected to be on the list.
He says that in recent days there has been a degree of panic among some members of the usually untouchable political elite.
Most Kenyans feel these prosecutions are vital in order to undermine the deeply rooted culture of impunity, our correspondent says.
Church atrocity Kenya has had a series of violent elections, but the disputed poll in 2007 saw the country taken to the brink of civil war.
There were revenge attacks, with long-standing ethnic and economic rivalries ignited by political divisions.
Communities turned on each other with crude weapons as they were encouraged, and even paid, by power-hungry politicians, our correspondent says.
One of the worst incidents saw a church where about 100 people had sought sanctuary set on fire, killing dozens of people inside.
The police used excessive force and carried out extra-judicial killings, he says.
The weapons were put down only after former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan brokered a peace deal between the two presidential rivals.
As the ICC investigation has gathered pace in recent months, several witnesses have been threatened, and the ICC has moved some out of the country.
The key question now is whether those accused will hand themselves over or be shielded by politicians and evade justice, our correspondent says.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11996652

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