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Annan gives names of Kenya suspects to ICC

Annan gives names of Kenya suspects to ICC

Former U.N. chief Kofi Annan handed the names of suspected ringleaders in Kenya's postelection violence to the International Criminal Court Thursday, a move that will increase pressure on the shaky coalition government to hold its own members to account.
More than 1,000 people were killed in riots following disputed election results in December 2007. Several human rights bodies have blamed businessmen and politicians in the current administration for orchestrating the clashes, the worst violence since Kenya gained its independence. Annan brokered an agreement to end the violence under the auspices of the African Union and he continues to ensure it is implemented.
The clashes severely damaged Kenya's reputation _ the region's largest economy had long regarded as a haven of stability in a region roiled by brutal civil wars. Tourism, the country's second largest foreign exchange earner, has still not recovered. Problems with corruption and extrajudicial killings by the security forces have not been addressed.
Parliament has so far blocked efforts to establish a local tribunal, saying they are worried over its impartiality. Critics say that legislators fear their own actions will be investigated.
Annan's decision follows high-level talks with members of the Kenyan government last week. The government has promised to establish a tribunal by August 2010. If it fails to do so, the issue will be referred to the Hague. Handing over the names now is designed to cut down on delays if the international court is forced to take over.
"Justice delayed is justice denied. The people of Kenya want to see concrete progress on impunity. Without such progress, the reconciliation between ethnic groups and the long-term stability of Kenya is in jeopardy," Annan said in a statement.
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno Ocampo, said, "The transmission of documents by Mr. Kofi Annan forms part of these collaborative efforts to ensure that justice is not delayed and that future crimes can be prevented."
The Court is an independent, permanent court that investigates and prosecutes persons accused of the most serious crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
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Associated Press Writer Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands contributed to this report


Updated : 2021-10-27 15:26 GMT+08:00