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» 19.04.2010 - Kenyan leader speaks out on constitution affair
» 08.04.2010 - Church leaders find role in Kenya’s reform agenda
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» 04.03.2010 - ICC prosecutor submits 20 names
» 25.02.2010 - Truth commission chair told to resign
» 18.02.2010 - Resolve differences - Annan tells Kenyan leaders

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ICC warns to act on Kenya if tribunal not established

afrol News, 1 April - The International Criminal Court has warned the Kenyan government that it would intervene and take action against the perpetrators of the 2007 post election violence if government does not push for the enactment of a special tribunal law.

The ICC spokesperson, Beatrice Le Fraper Du Hellen, said the court has an international mandate to investigate massive crimes and take action in cases where national judicial mechanisms have proven to be ineffective.

Ms Du Hellen said The Hague started collecting information on the crimes against humanity after the 2007 elections in December and will not take long to issue warrants of arrest to suspected architects of the violence once it takes up the case.

The Justice Philip Waki Commission, which led investigations into the 2007 post elections violence had recommended that key architects of the killings should either be tried before a special tribunal or be handed over to The Hague.

“Once the International Criminal Court announces it has stepped in, there is no going back. We will act relentlessly and immediately,” she warned.

In February, the Kenyan legislators rejected a bill seeking to establish a local tribunal with MPs arguing that the post election violence suspects should rather be taken to the Hague. The MPs said a local judicial process would be vulnerable to political manipulation and that there would be no protection for witnesses.

The government failed to garner the two thirds majority required in a 'yes vote' for the amendment to succeed, raising concerns that an intercontinental process will have those on a secret list of suspects tried at The Hague.

On Monday, the former UN Chief, Kofi Annan urged Kenya to implement reforms as agreed by the leadership in February, saying failure would derail the achievements gained after the 2007 post election violence.

Mr Annan who addressed delegates in Geneva meeting on the Opening Plenary of 'The Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation - One Year Later' said slow pace of the implementation of reforms had caused disillusionment among ordinary Kenyans.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga formed unity government in February last year after Mr Odinga accused President Kibaki of rigging the December 2007 elections. The violence that followed killed more than 1,333and displaced thousands.

Last month, the former UN chief, Kofi Annan, who is also chairman of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities and the broker of the original agreement that ended the violence, granted the government more time to reintroduce the measures that will see the setting up of the Tribunal.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga who fought for the bill in parliament including intensive lobbying, are still pushing for the tribunal as both local and international pressure intensifies.

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