- The former UN chief, Kofi Annan has given Kenya 10 weeks to form a local tribunal to try perpetrators of the 2007 post election violence or face the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Mr Annan who brokered a power sharing deal between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the East African state in February 2008 to end violence, warned that if the tribunal was not established within a reasonable period, he will be forced to hand over an envelope of the 2007 post violence suspects to ICC.
A commission of inquiry into the post election violence has instructed the Kenyan leadership to establish a court and begin hearings in March. An attempt to establish the tribunal was defeated in Parliament after MPs voted against it.
The International Criminal Court has already warned it will act swiftly on the Kenyan case if Parliament fails to establish a local tribunal.
In February, the Kenyan legislators rejected the 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.
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.
The Commission to Investigate the Post-Election Violence led by Justice Philip Waki recommended wide-ranging reforms of the police as well as the creation of a special tribunal for Kenya, independent of the judiciary, anchored in a constitutional amendment and staffed by both Kenyan and international judges and prosecutors.
The Commission had set a deadline of 30 January 2009, to pass legislation to establish the tribunal, with Kenyan and international judges.
President 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 1,333 and displaced thousands.
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