Kenya: Netizens React to ICC Charges Against 6 Kenyans
On 7 and 8 April, 2011, the International Criminal Court (ICC) confirmed charges against six prominent Kenyan individuals whom the ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo believes bear the most responsibility for the post election violence that rocked the country in 2008.
The six individuals are William Samoei Ruto and Henry Kiprono Kosgey (both serving Members of Parliament), Joshua Arap Sang (radio journalist with a popular vernacular station), Francis Kirimi Muthaura (Secretary to Cabinet and Head of Public Service), Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta (Deputy Prime Minister and serving Member of Parliament) and Mohammed Hussein Ali (Former Chief of Police).
The visit of the six to the Hague has drawn mixed reactions and raised political temperatures in the country with part of the coalition government supporting the ICC move and another denouncing it.
Dr Kabera Karanja of the blog Killing Corruption Monster discusses some of the tough conditions set by the court especially with respect to speech inciting to violence. He notes:
With home-coming reception rally planned by the supporters of the two presidential candidates, William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta and their declared onslaught on their main presidential candidate rival Raila Odinga, it will be a difficult or impossible balancing act to require the two to tame their language. If Raila were to utilize this opportunity to deride his opponents, then Ruto and Uhuru could easily argue that the ICC is being used to silence them and therefore ‘working for Raila’.Ken Opalo observes:
Kenyan politics is currently in flux. Two key presidential candidates, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto may be barred from running for public office next year on constitutional grounds. The key beneficiaries of such an eventuality will most probably be Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, the Premier and Vice President respectively…The Diary of A Gay Kenyan comments on the live proceedings from the ICC:
Over the last few weeks Uhuru and Ruto have been crisscrossing the country and holding chest-thumping rallies to prove to someone – either the ICC or the Kenyan political and economic elite – that they have the support of the grassroots. They have also issued thinly veiled threats that violence may erupt in the country if they are whisked to the Hague and barred from running for president in next year’s general election.
I'm sitting at home watching Live NTV showing Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya's founding president, appearing at the Hague accused of crimes against humanity. Looks like the penny has just dropped…A guest post at Bankelele blog offered those travelling to the Hague to witness the proceedings some traveling tips under the post “A Kenyan Guide to the Hague“:
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