Thursday, December 16, 2010

Key Kenyan leaders to answer for chaos - post-election violence

The International Criminal Court prosecutor has summoned six individuals in connection with Kenya’s post-election violence, among them two prominent politicians.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and suspended Education Minister William Ruto were named along four other suspects for masterminding the chaos that engulfed Kenya following the disputed 2007 presidential elections. Over 1,000 people died in the chaos, while hundreds of thousands were displaced.

Other suspects
The other suspects are Mr Francis Muthaura, the head of public service and secretary to the cabinet, Maj. Gen. Hussein Ali, then head of the police who now heads Kenya’s postal corporation, Mr Henry Kosgey, the chairman of the ODM party and minister for industrialisation and Mr Joshua Arap Sang, a journalist working with Kass FM.

ICC Prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo said the six were the commanders on the two sides that developed after current Prime Minister Raila Odinga and head of the Orange Democratic Movement accused President Mwai Kibaki and his Party of National Unity of stealing victory from him.

The ODM (Ruto, Kosgey and Sang) face charges of murder, deportation, persecutions and torture. The PNU group (Uhuru, Muthaura and Ali) face similar charges but with an added one of rape.

The Prosecutor accuses Mr Ruto and Mr Kosgey of planning attacks against PNU supporters as far as 2006.

Used radio
The prosecutor says Mr Sang used his radio programme to rally supporters and provide signals to members of the plan on when and where to attack.

To reach their goal, he tells the Pre-Trial Chamber II judges, the three coordinated a series of actors and institutions to establish a network, using it to implement an organisational policy to commit crimes.

“Their two goals were: (1) to gain power in the Rift Valley Province, Kenya (“Rift Valley”), and ultimately in the Republic of Kenya, and (2) to punish and expel from the Rift Valley those perceived to support the PNU,” Mr Moreno-Ocampo’s application reads.

The prosecutors says immediately after President Kibaki was announced winner of the 2007 presidential poll, thousands of members of the network put together by the three accused began to execute their plan by attacking PNU supporters.

He explains that on December 30 and 31, the perpetrators began attacks in target locations including Turbo town, the greater Eldoret area, Kapsabet town, and Nandi Hills town.

“They approached each location from all directions, burning down PNU supporters’ homes and businesses, killing civilians, and systematically driving them from their homes,” the application reads.

The three are accused of having coordinated the burning of the Kiambaa church where at least 17 people died.
Mr Moreno-Ocampo says in his application that all the identified attacks occurred in a uniform fashion. He explains that the perpetrators gathered at designated meeting points outside of locations selected for attack.

“There, they met coordinators, who organised the perpetrators into groups with assigned tasks. Perpetrators then attacked target locations. Some perpetrators approached on foot, while others were driven in trucks, as had been previously arranged,” the prosecutor says.

He adds that Mr Sang helped coordinate the attacks using coded language disseminated through radio broadcasts.
Mr Moreno-Ocampo says in response to the planned attacks by the three “prominent PNU members and/or Government of Kenya officials Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Mohammed Hussein Ali developed and executed a plan to attack perceived ODM supporters in order to keep the PNU in power.”

Police involvement
He accuses the National Security Advisory Committee which was chaired by Mr Muthaura and where Mr Ali was a member, of authorising and deploying the police in joint operations with the Administration Police into ODM strongholds.
During the operation, he adds, the officer used excessive force against civilian protesters in Kisumu and in Kibera, Nairobi Province.

“As a consequence, between the end of December 2007 and the middle of January 2008, the Kenyan Police Forces indiscriminately shot at and killed more than 100 ODM supporters in Kisumu and Kibera,” the application reads.

The three are also accused of developing a different tactic to retaliate against the attacks on PNU supporters.
The application says on or about January 3, 2008 Mr Kenyatta, as the focal point between the PNU and the Mungiki criminal organisation, facilitated a meeting with Mr Muthaura and Mungiki leaders to organise retaliatory attacks against civilian supporters of the ODM. 

Key Kenyan leaders to answer for chaos - Breaking News

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