Kenyan Leaders Respond to ICC

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Kenyan leaders have been responding to the recent announcement that the ICC will prosecute four of the six figures suspected of involvement in the post-election violence of early 2008 (for the announcement, click here).

Under pressure from civil society groups and rival leaders, two of those charged, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura, have resigned their positions.

But before you start celebrating the end of Kenya’s longstanding culture of impunity, note what Uhuru Kenyatta did not say. He did not say that he was resigning from his post as Deputy Prime Minister and he did not say that he has decided not to run for president in elections that seem most likely to be held in March 2013. Instead, Uhuru Kenyatta and the other prominent political leader to be charged, William Ruto, have declared that the ICC process will not stop them from contesting the presidency.

For his part, President Kibaki called on Kenyans to ‘search our national conscience and rededicate ourselves to a true sense of national reconciliation and forgiveness’ and ordered the Attorney General to form a legal team to advise the government on how to respond (to see the video, click here).

As I’ve said before, in Kenya it seems that the more things change the more they stay the same (for my book chapter of this title, click here).

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