Kenya: Annan's is one of many options
Jul 16, 2009
By Dan Van Ness
In the aftermath of the post-election violence in Kenya in late 2007, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan mediated an agreement between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga to form a power-sharing administration.
A government-appointed commission investigated the violence and in October 2008 gave Annan a list of suspects in the killings along with proof. Since then, the government and the International Criminal Court have negotiated about how to address prosecution of the perpetrators. Earlier in July they agreed that the ICC will set up a court in Kenya to try the suspects. At that point, Annan turned over the list of suspects to the ICC's Chief Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
In commenting on this development on allAfrica.com, L. Muthoni Wanyeki, Executive Director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission, made some interesting observations about the kind of justice that Kenyans need:
Just as the mediator [Annan] and the rest of the panel may have lost patience with the government's obvious prevarication on the matter of justice for survivors of the post-elections violence, so has the public.
True, many internally displaced people continue to express the need for restorative justice -- their living conditions remain precarious and only restitution of their homes and livelihoods will suffice.
True too, there is concern about how this move -- or any move towards punitive justice will affect communal relations on the ground. But the demand for justice is irrefutable.