ICC Critics Should Focus on the Victims of Crimes against Humanity
As the clock ticks towards November 12, 2013 set for the start of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, a section of Kenyan media has reported that some of his close supporters have suggested he should skip the Court because it will embarrass him and the country. The African Union (AU) has also registered its displeasure and will hold a special summit on October 11th-12th with only one item on the agenda: “Africa’s relationship with the ICC”. Generally, critics of the Court within and outside Africa do not like its ‘colonial and imperial’ nature; its interference in ‘Kenya’s sovereignty’ and ‘how powerless’ it is without the membership of countries like China, Russia, USA, India, Turkey and Israel. However, they barely discuss the victims of crimes against humanity or the weak and corrupt judicial systems in some of the member states.
In September, members of Parliament and Senate within the ruling Jubilee Coalition voted to withdraw Kenya from the Rome Statute. Some of their reasons were documented here . There is abundant literature on why the ICC is deemed to be targeting Africa and not the USA, and why it has not charged individuals from developed countries involved in the Iraqi war. A comprehensive article citing African leaders and other scholars was published in the New African magazine on March 1, 2012. Of great interest were sections from a paper by Jacqueline Geis and Alex Mundt titled: ‘The Impact of Timing of International Criminal Indictments on Peace Processes and Humanitarian Action’ which argued that “although the ICC was established as an impartial arbiter of international justice, both the timing and nature of its indictments issued to date suggest that the intervention of the ICC in situations of ongoing conflict is influenced by broader external factors.” The authors referred to the ICC indictment of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, which contrasted its silence on other leaders in similar situations. “Gathafi’s [sic] indictment contrasts starkly with the ICC’s silence on the presidents of Syria and Yemen, and the King of Bahrain where similar “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” as alleged by the ICC to have occurred in Libya under Gathafi have happened over the past year. But Gathafi, then being bombed and wanted by the Western powers, was indicted by the ICC, while, to date, the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the King of Bahrain Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa have been left in peace.”
Some African leaders who resent the ICC are the same ones who signed and ratified the Rome Statute because they wanted a global court to end impunity. On 4th October 2013, Peter Cluskey wrote in The Irish Times that: “Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni accused the ICC of continually “mishandling complex African issues”. Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the AU chairman, told the UN General Assembly last week: “The manner in which the ICC has been operating has left a very bad impression in Africa. It is totally unacceptable.” South African president Jacob Zuma said it was the impression that the ICC was being “unreasonable” – that led directly to the Addis Ababa summit on October 13th.” Nonetheless, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda maintains that: “Contrary to what has now become a rallying call for those who do not wish to see justice for victims of post-election violence, our cases have never been against the people of Kenya or against any tribe in Kenya.” (See: ICC trial against Kenyan Deputy President Ruto opens).
Victims of crimes against humanity – who cares?
There are thousands of victims affected by the post-election violence (PEV) of 2007-08 in various ways, yet remain voiceless because of the rot in Kenya’s judicial system. Former Chairman of the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, Maina Kiai, made a very moving documentary film titled ‘Getting Justice: Kenya’s Deadly Game of Wait and See’, which captured the testimonies of various victims. However, the most compelling narratives were from two female survivors: Dorothy, who was a Luo by tribe, and Mary, a Kikuyu by tribe. According to the initial Case 2 at the ICC, Dorothy was gang-raped by Mungiki men of the Kikuyu tribe, and called “dog”. They did not kill her but was left scarred and traumatized.
Sick, without income and with very little support from relatives and sympathizers, Dorothy passed on in 2011 as ‘an ordinary person’. Lucy Hannan penned a tribute to her in the Daily Nation newspaper on 29th October 2011: “Dorothy had been failed at every turn in her life: in the 2007 election; in personal security; as an internally displaced person; as a person living with HIV; in restitution; as a victim of sexual violence; in loss of livelihood; in legal justice and human dignity; and finally, in a fatally corrupt and inefficient institution – the health service. But in death, she had taught me one last thing. I finally understood exactly what is meant by a “failing State”.”
In a short film clip titled ‘Mary Meets Dorothy’, the two female survivors meet and share their shocking experiences. Mary, who sustained serious burns when she and others took refuge in the Kiambaa Church in Eldoret, saw her child burn to death when she was pushed back into the church by male attackers from the Kalenjin tribe. Only four people were charged with the attack. Initially, there was political pressure to charge the suspects no matter how weak the cases were. However, they were all released due to shoddy police investigations and lack of evidence. Witnesses were also too scared to testify because they were not assured of witness protection.
Joyce Chepkemoi who is from the Kalenjin tribe and was pregnant during the PEV, was attacked by a gang of around 20 Kikuyu men at her home in Molo. They killed her husband and cut him into several pieces then pushed her face into a fire which they had lit, and left her for dead. She was lucky to wake up in a morgue three days later. Back at home after nine months of treatment, her children were so terrified of her facial scars, they called her a hyena. With deformed hands, she has not been able to work and depends on well-wishers for money and food. She was not able to close her eyes for five years until a corrective surgery procedure was performed around her eyes recently. She requires Ksh1.5 million for three phases of corrective surgery. It was only after the Kenya Television Network aired her plight in July 2013, that a German doctor volunteered to begin the process at Kenyatta National Hospital in September. Some PEV victims have been lucky to join their relatives in developed countries where they receive better medical care.
Forgive, forget and move on
Deputy president William Ruto seems to suffer from amnesia and denial when it comes to the PEV victims. A WikiLeaks cable released in 2011 disclosed that: “Ruto expressed frustration with the media, which he felt had blamed members of his Kalenjin group for locking and burning down a church full of asylum seekers in Eldoret during last yeatr’s election violence,” states the cable. “Ruto emphasised that his people had done no such thing. According to Ruto, the cause of the incident was an accidental kitchen fire during preparations for lunch.” But the Waki Commission report revealed that: “the incident which captured the attention of both Kenyans and the world was the deliberate burning alive of mostly Kikuyu women and children huddled together in a church in Kiambaa on 1 January 2008. They had sought refuge in the church following a 30 December attack on their village of Kimuri, bordering Kiambaa. According to reports, including witness testimony, mattresses and blankets were set ablaze with petrol and thrown into the building while mothers and babies who were trying to flee the inferno were pushed back into the church. Kikuyu men attempting to defend their church and loved ones were hacked to death with machetes, shot with arrows, or pursued and killed.” Around 30 Kikuyu adults and children died in the Kiambaa fire.
Not all PEV victims are witnesses at the ICC, since intimidation by powerful politicians has kept them away, while others have been killed or bought not to witness. Furthermore, the victims have no other court to turn to for justice except the ICC, regardless of its flaws. African leaders are the cause of impunity and will protect themselves from accountability for crimes against humanity committed on their watch. Therefore, critics must also consider such weaknesses as they speak and write against the ICC.
The Jubilee government is determined to pull Kenya out of the Rome Statute, yet it is not assisting the thousands of survivors and others who are victims because they lost their loved ones who were breadwinners. Uhuru and Ruto’s supporters voted to send their cases to The Hague after refusing to establish a local special tribunal. They are aware that the ICC offers no immunity for the presidency and therefore, pulling Kenya out will not help them. The recent Westgate Mall attack could have prolonged Ruto’s stay in Kenya until October 14th as he had requested, but he was ordered by the ICC to resume proceedings on 2nd October or risk being arrested. Equally, the ICC has rejected Uhuru’s plea to postpone his trial until January 2014.
According to Dr. Obote Odora, a consultant in International Criminal Law & Policy, “We should encourage the debates on the ICC to shift from perpetrators and African leaders to victims and lack of independent national courts to address their concerns. Local papers in East Africa are concerned with Uhuruto and not the victims and displaced persons.”
Kenya: The Death of an ‘Ordinary Person’
BY LUCY HANNAN, 29 OCTOBER 2011
My friend Dorothy died while we were battling to save her.
Her life since 2007 had been all about the trauma and resilience of being a victim of post-election violence — brutally gang-raped in Naivasha, followed by a life of poverty in Kisumu as an unrecognised IDP. She was HIV positive and brave enough to talk publicly about it. But Dorothy didn’t die because of that.
Her story is probably familiar to thousands of abandoned post-election violence survivors. It will be told this time from the end, not from the beginning.
Dorothy, 32, had been admitted to Kisumu District Hospital with a chest infection in August.
When I visited her, her calm and charm had been taken over by a wide-eyed fear. She was almost unrecognisable — thin, prone and barely covered in the crowded female ward.
The ward was full of acutely ill women — TB, Aids, malaria. Some were lying on the floor. I didn’t see any nursing done by nurses that day.
Relatives and friends did the best they could-cups of milk next to the beds, bowls for vomit, and half-empty bottles of water for cleaning up.
The electrical wall sockets didn’t work; there was no water in any of the taps. We bought Dorothy a nightdress and underwear, towels and a pillow, water and milk, and lotion for her body and cracked lips.
The swelling up her arm was stiff and shiny — like a hard liquid cushion. I was shown a few packets of injectable medicine next to her bed. Medication, it turned out, was a touch-and-go affair.
There was no consistency in its monitoring or administration. Relatives seemed in fear of the hospital regime rather than reassured by it.
They talked of corruption and neglect, with underpaid and under pressure medical staff taking a harsh and dismissive approach to the patients.
Dorothy was sick, but clear-minded — she wanted people around her. That day, the ICC victims’ lawyer Morris Anyah visited her.
Dorothy had supported the ICC option since I first met her in 2009. Mr Anyah explained at her bedside that as a victim she would be represented at The Hague, listed as a number to ensure anonymity and protection.
We felt nervous as we watched her watch him — nervous about how much the ICC understood about victim protection in Kenya, where politicians operate as a mafia, not as a government.
Was Dorothy safe? Very possibly not, as she had been seen on film by millions. I first met her as an IDP in Kisumu when we were making the film Getting Justice: Kenya’s Deadly Game of Wait and See, which was shown on national television and in international film festivals. http://youtu.be/nXS_UR4Ml00
Dorothy was one of the key interviews in that film, along with Mary, a badly burnt survivor from the Kiambaa Church fire.
While it was fitting now that justice had effectively come to Dorothy’s bedside, there was little to feel pleased about.
Now was a time of fear and uncertainty, of vitriol and threats against witnesses and “traitors”. The pre-trial hearings of government kingpins were about to be heard in The Hague.
Our fears for her, as it turned out, were not without foundation. When Case 2 kicked off in The Hague, Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo referred to Dorothy’s case.
He talked of a woman in Naivasha who was gang-raped by Mungiki and called “dog” — exactly what she had talked about in the film.
The matter was taken up with the ICC victims unit, and there were promises of help. But it quickly became clear Dorothy was not going to get any immediate protection.
We sought the advice locally of those well versed in living under threat in Kenya. These were conversations you felt you shouldn’t even be having: is she a witness? Where does she live? Who’s looking after her?
We moved Dorothy to a private wing and found an independent doctor whose empathy and efficiency guaranteed Dorothy’s immediate transfer.
I sat in the back of a taxi with her, holding tissue to her bleeding hand where a nurse had unceremoniously pulled out the cannula: no dressing allowed. It was pure relief to reach a ward that was clean and orderly. We felt new hope.
Over the next few weeks, Dorothy improved in health, comfort and outlook, although her condition remained precarious because of her HIV status.
HIV is not, of course, a death sentence now. With retrovirals and good care, Dorothy still had more years, and a chance, surely, of a better life ahead.
We saw the Dorothy we knew re-emerging, that amazing spirit of resilience and hope. She began talking again about going home.
But although Dorothy’s health was improving, concerns about her security were not. Dorothy was now exposed in more ways than one.
There were new worries about the impact of Case 2. Previously, political threats had focused on “traitor” witnesses in the Rift Valley and “traitor” activists in Central Province.
But the dominant narrative had effectively “invisiblised” victims in Naivasha and Nakuru, with powerful apologists peddling the fact that the atrocities were necessary “revenge attacks”.
The fact was, they were ordinary civilians, like Dorothy, who played no role in the violence at all. They were raped or killed simply because of their ethnicity.
Now, the ICC pre-trial hearing placed these attacks centre stage in a case pitched against the most powerful men in Kenya.
So it was decided that Dorothy should remain in the hospital for longer — but not too long. Keeping her in hospital exposed her to infections when her immunity was low and her condition weak.
It was a balance of perceived risks. Dorothy’s carers and visitors were limited to a few known and trusted people.
There was caution with phones, e-mails and personal contacts. Dorothy remained in the hospital during the ICC confirmation hearings and the week that the government suspects returned to Kenya.
During this time, Dorothy’s health improved. By October 13, preparations were made to find her a house.
I talked to Dorothy that day, and she was eager to go home — but also worried about a sudden onset of weakness and shaking.
Then, early morning October 14, I was told she had taken a dramatic turn for the worse. She was indeed very ill. No more phone conversations with Dorothy.
She rapidly developed a severe condition with diabetes and convulsions. Her bedside was taken over then by people speaking in tongues, casting out the devil, and praying for her soul.
I spent Monday and Tuesday with her. She asked me if she was going to die. There was a huge pile of pills next to her she had failed to stomach.
But despite the seriousness of her condition, nursing care seemed to be receding rather than increasing.
During those last few days, keeping up her glucose levels and medication was critical.
Yet sometimes her drip was left out for hours at a time. And — even in the private wing — it was up to relatives and friends to nurse, feed, wash and clean her.
The night I spent there, a nurse came to Dorothy’s bedside just once. At 3 a.m. we needed help — but the nurses were locked in their station, sleeping. There were other worries.
Like the way medication was treated as a form of currency rather than a necessity. And traditional herbs were given to her without any control or monitoring — traditional medicine can kill, said one doctor.
How would you know if a patient had died from external concoctions? You wouldn’t, explained the doctor.
Toxicologists can’t identify plants that haven’t been classified. And too risky to complain about poor medical care, otherwise you might not get any at all. “Better not rock the boat,” the doctor advised.
Dorothy died late Wednesday night. Why? What did she die of? One of the last people she asked after was the Kiambaa survivor, Mary, who she met in an outdoor screening of Getting Justice in Naivasha 2010. (WATCH: Mary meets Dorothy)
Shoulder to shoulder, the two survivors sat together in the cold and talked about their scars – visible and invisible.
It reminded me that although Dorothy always referred to herself as “an ordinary person”, she was clearly not.
By her own account, she was illiterate and poorly educated, yet she was articulate and wise about subjects tha are taboo for so many — rape, HIV, and forgiveness.
It also reminded me that the fate of every — poor — citizen rests in the hands of their government.
Dorothy had been failed at every turn in her life: in the 2007 election; in personal security; as an internally displaced person; as a person living with HIV; in restitution; as a victim of sexual violence; in loss of livelihood; in legal justice and human dignity; and finally, in a fatally corrupt and inefficient institution – the health service.
But in death, she had taught me one last thing. I finally understood exactly what is meant by a “failing State”. Dorothy died of failure of State. Dorothy was buried on Saturday.
Poll Violence Victim Blames Former Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara
A man who lost his family of nine during the post-election violence in Naivasha has accused former MP Jayne Kihara of playing a role in the chaos. Mr Bernard Orinda Ndege, 54, said Ms Kihara told a rally near the Naivasha District Hospital that some communities had to leave the area for supporting her rival, Mr John Mututho. Ms Kihara was defending her seat on a Narc Kenya ticket while Mr Mututho contested on a Kanu ticket. According to Orinda the MP called a gathering near the hospital and said that since people from the Luo and Luhya communities had combined forces to vote for Mr Mututho, they must leave this place,” Mr Ndege said. He was testifying before the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission in Kisumu on Thursday. He also called for the prosecution of all perpetrators of the violence, saying that if they are not tried, worse violence could erupt in the next election. Mr Ndege said that there had been no violence in Naivasha since 1978 when he settled in the town as a fisherman.
Source: Daily Nation, Pg 1 & 4
Date: Friday, 15 Jul 2011
Many criticisms of International Criminal Court have validity
Opinion: Avoidance of difficult cases creates risk of perceived double standards
Thu, Jun 6, 2013, 01:00
When the International Criminal Court (ICC) was established in 2002, there was real optimism about holding those most responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes to account. Today, the Court is being criticised for having a racist agenda, a flawed investigation process and a prosecutorial strategy, as well as suffering from unacceptable delays. The current prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda from Gambia, has hit back at critics, saying they are trying to protect the perpetrators of these crimes.
Many of the criticisms are valid. To date, the court has convicted only one defendant, a former Congolese warlord, Thomas Lubanga. Last December, a second Congolese warlord was acquitted when the court rejected the prosecution evidence and testimony of a number of key witnesses. More recently, a judge reprimanded the prosecutor’s investigation of Uhuru Kenyatta, now president of Kenya. Reference was made to the grave problems in the review of evidence by the prosecutor and lack of proper oversight. This week, the court requested the prosecutor to consider providing further evidence or conducting further investigation with respect to the charges presented against Laurent Gbagbo.
Other international tribunals have not fared much better. The special tribunal established to prosecute former Khmer Rouge leaders in Cambodia, with its mix of international and national staff, has been plagued by internal strife and government hostility. After seven years and just one conviction and two remaining defendants, states financing this system are losing faith.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon has been painstakingly slow due to intimidation and attacks on its team in Beirut.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has faced criticism that it has an anti-Serb bias. Last November it overturned a number of trial decisions in controversial appeal judgments. It also acquitted the former prime minister of Kosovo for a second time, raising the question as to why the case was brought in the first place.
Virtually all the cases before the ICC at present are from the African continent. However, nearly all of the current investigations arise from referrals to the court by the African countries themselves.
In Kenya, it soon became clear that the political leadership was not committed to accountability for the post-election violence. As a consequence, the prosecutor at the ICC began an investigation.
There is no doubt that the tension between the court and some African states has been heightened by the fact that the Sudanese and Kenyan presidents are on the current list of wanted persons. The plea for UN Security Council intervention to terminate the ICC proceedings in respect of Kenya was misjudged. Kenya must co-operate with the ICC while still pursuing national prosecutions against less powerful political figures.
The president of the ICC has defended its record, claiming it is impartial and apolitical. The evidence points to the contrary. The situations and cases currently under review have a decidedly African focus. When the investigations that have progressed are compared to those that are stalled, a similar pattern emerges.
The cases that are being prosecuted also involve a range of individuals that in some way or another have incurred the wrath of larger Western states. States’ support for the ICC has been inconsistent, strong on rhetoric and weak when political support is needed to do its job.
Politics and law, especially at an international level, will always be intertwined. The atrocities committed in the course of the conflict in Sri Lanka did not lead to any commission of inquiry or tribunal, let alone a referral to the ICC. The Sri Lankan government had powerful friends. The UN Security Council has referred the situation in Darfur and Libya to the court. However, the situation in Syria has not been referred owing to disagreement among the permanent members of the Security Council.
All this points to the defects in the administration of international justice. Central to this process is the role of prosecutors. The prosecutorial strategy adopted by the ICC under its first prosecutor, Moreno Ocampo, has left a challenging legacy to follow.
The ICC does not replace national jurisdictions; it only complements them when necessary. National prosecutions are preferable, but few have confidence in the current Kenyan leadership. Likewise, it is unlikely that Gadafy’s son, Seif al Islam, would get a fair trial in Libya. How the court manages the Kenyan dilemma will test its credibility. Navigating the political and diplomatic storm that situations such as Palestine present will prove difficult. To date the court has taken the easy options and steered clear of contentious cases. The current policy risks creating a double standard that threatens its integrity.
Prof Ray Murphy teaches at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, School of Law, NUI Galway. The centre hosts an annual summer school on the International Criminal Court with international experts from June 17th to 22nd.
Human Rights Watch
130 Groups Across Africa Call for Countries to Back ICC 
AU Summit Should Support Court, Including Kenya Cases
October 7, 2013
(Johannesburg, October 7, 2013) – 130 groups from across Africa called on African members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in a letter made public today to affirm their support for the court at an extraordinary summit of the African Union (AU). The meeting is scheduled for October 11 and 12, 2013, in Addis Ababa.
The groups, from 34 countries, said African countries should support the ICC as a crucial court of last resort, including for its current cases on crimes committed during Kenya’s post-election violence in 2007-2008. The relationship between the ICC and some African governments has faced renewed challenges as the Kenya cases have progressed, the groups said. This has led to increased accusations that the court is targeting Africa, and questions over whether some African ICC members may be considering withdrawing from the ICC’s treaty, the Rome Statute.
“Southern Africa was at the forefront of pressing for a permanent international criminal court,” said Angela Mudukuti, International Criminal Justice Programme Project Lawyer at the Southern Africa Litigation Center. “South Africa and other Southern Africa Development Community members should press the AU to work to expand the reach of justice, not cripple it.”
In southern Africa, Botswana has been a vocal proponent of the ICC in the face of recent attacks on the court, but many other African ICC members have remained silent. However, in its September statement to the UN General Assembly, Lesotho expressed strong support for the ICC, and it should reaffirm that support at the Addis summit. Mauritius also adopted legislation to implement the ICC’s treaty domestically in 2011, putting it in a good position to express strong support for the court at the summit.
African countries played an active role at the negotiations to establish the court, and 34 African countries – a majority of African Union members – are ICC members. African governments have sought out the ICC to try grave crimes committed on their territories, and Africans are among the highest-level ICC officials as well as serving as judges.
“Five African states asked the ICC to investigate crimes committed in their countries – Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda, Central African Republic, Mali, and Democratic Republic of Congo,” said Georges Kapiamba, president of the Congolese Association for Access to Justice. “These states have particular authority and responsibility to dispel claims that the ICC is targeting Africa.”
Any withdrawal from the ICC would send the wrong signal about Africa’s commitment to protect and promote human rights and to reject impunity, as reflected in article 4 of the AU’s Constitutive Act, the organizations said. The work and functioning of the ICC should not be beyond scrutiny and improvement, but withdrawal would risk grave consequences of undermining justice in Africa.
“This year Nigeria and Ghana both acknowledged the ICC as a crucial court of last resort, and are thus well placed to play a positive leadership role at the summit,” said Chinonye Obiagwu, National Coordinatorat Nigeria’s Legal Defense and Assistance Project. “They should actively push back against unprincipled attacks on the court and support the ICC’s ability to operate without interference, including in Kenya.”
The Nigerian government reaffirmed a “firm commitment to the Rome Statute” and “readiness for continued cooperation with ICC to put an end to impunity” in a recent filing to the ICC. President John Drimana Mahama of Ghana told France24 after an AU summit meeting in May, “I think the ICC has done an amazing job in bringing some people who have committed genocide and mass murder to justice.”
Kenya’s leaders in 2008 initially agreed to set up a special tribunal to try cases related to the postelection violence, which claimed more than 1,100 lives, destroyed livelihoods, and displaced more than a half-million people. But efforts to create the tribunal or to move cases forward in ordinary courts failed. The ICC prosecutor then opened an investigation, as recommended by a national commission of inquiry set up as part of an African Union-mediated agreement to end the violence.
The groups said that Kenya has put governments in an awkward position by pressing for action to avoid the ICC’s cases while having failed to avail itself of the court’s procedures to authorize such a move based on credible domestic investigation and prosecution.
Source URL: http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/10/07/130-groups-across-africa-call-countries-back-icc
Are these two(2) kahee above the law? Both are known to hate women with passion!They really hates Fatou Bensouda of the OTP>
The ICC should focus on the victims of the crime against Humanity These two has gone to bed and shared men both has cold -blood temparament under the infruence of Power of Viagra >kweki Kenya iggo manenu
Fantastic Special branch (moi boys)who used to castrate/skin /murder/torture at Nyayo torture chambers) blaming NIS gichangi /karangi KDF Anus thinking Corrupt generals whose service is long gone (spent force)
Rwanda genocide survivors struggle to rebuild their lives
Genocide can happen anywhere, says Jacqueline Murekatete, a survivor
Author: Jocelyne Sambira
Waking up one day to hear that her entire family had been slaughtered sounded like a horror movie to Jacqueline Murekatete. And yet it happened to her and scores of men, women and children in the east African nation of Rwanda some 19 years ago. From 6 April 1994, close to a million Tutsi ethnic minorities and some moderate Hutus were hacked to death in a killing spree that lasted for about 100 days. Hutu extremists were behind the brutal murders.
Jacqueline was only nine years old then. She survived because she was in another village visiting her grandmother. From there, she sought refuge in an Italian missionary. Her journey ended in the United States, where an uncle adopted her. Over the years, she has shared her story to educate people about crimes of genocide and mass atrocities. In her opinion, genocide is the greatest crime that a human being could commit against another. “I believe it is a grave injustice because you are being killed simply because of the way you were born. I did not choose to be a Tutsi.”
It is her fight against intolerance and indifference that led her to team up with Miracle Corners of the World (MCW), a youth empowerment organization, after her undergraduate studies. In 2007, she launched her own MCW Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner, a genocide prevention programme. Murekatete uses the platform to educate people about genocide and to raise funds for Rwandan survivors. Rwandan authorities say there are about 300,000 to 400,000 survivors of genocide in the country, and 40,000 of them are without shelter.
Today Jacqueline is recognized internationally for her work as a youth leader and a humanitarian. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Global Peace and Tolerance Award from the United Nations. In a Rwandan-themed café in mid-town Manhattan, surrounded by her native art work and the familiar smell of the Arabica coffee bean, Jacqueline told Africa Renewal that she was one of the lucky ones. She was able to escape, get an education and a job.
“Nineteen years later, many [survivors] are still dealing with the consequences [of genocide] a lot of them are still fighting to get their properties back,” she says. This is in addition to other physical ailments and mental trauma they are undergoing. Many are destitute, she adds. The most vulnerable are orphans, widows and rape victims.
Her organization built a youth community centre in Bugesera, a district in eastern Rwanda and home to two memorial sites. Just 40 kilometres away from the capital, Kigali, Bugesera is said to have lost half of its population to genocide. The community centre offers income-generating and educational programmes from learning English, to skills in plumbing, sewing and information technology.
With the closing in 2014 of the UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda set up following the genocide, Murekatete is already thinking ahead. She is working with the UK-based Survivors’ Fund to set up an international trust fund to help genocide victims. The fund will operate along the same lines with the one run by International Criminal Court in The Hague. So far the Rwandan tribunal, which is based in Arusha, Tanzania, has convicted and sentenced 65 people, with 17 pending appeals and 12 acquitted. Nine suspects are still at large.
Meanwhile, Rwanda’s community courts, known as “Gacaca”, completed their work last year. The courts were created to speed up the prosecution of perpetrators. During the hearings, accused persons would often confess to the killings in exchange for a reduced sentence or an amnesty. The courts have, however, failed to compensate survivors for their losses, laments Murekatete. “We realize that this is a critical time for us with the closing of the [Rwandan tribunal] and Gacaca trials,” she says, “We want to make sure that survivors will not be forgotten, people have to realize there is still a lot of work to do.”
This year’s anniversary of the Rwanda genocide is on 7 April. For Murekatete, “this period of mourning is not just about Rwanda. We have to remember the genocide with the realization that it can happen anywhere.” She is alarmed by the mass atrocities that continue to be perpetrated around the world, as she puts it: “Darfur is still happening. Syria is happening. Congo is happening.” Despite this, she believes progress has been made, citing the dynamic and influential campaigns led by school kids and universities around the world against genocide in Darfur. She also cites the recent statement issued by the United States to declare genocide prevention “a core national security interest” and moral responsibility. “I think that was a very powerful statement to make because a lot of these things happened because countries didn’t feel it was in their national interest. I think that is progress.”
So as she takes part in the ceremonies and events to honour the victims of the 1994 genocide, her thoughts are with her late family, especially her month-old little brother. She no longer asks herself “why me?” but what she can do “to leave the world a better place.”
UHURU IN QUIET DIPLOMATIC ‘PROTEST’
FIVE ambassadors cannot take up their duties country because President Uhuru Kenyatta is unable to receive their credentials in what observers claim might be a quiet ‘diplomatic protest’ by the government.
Five newly appointed envoys from Germany, France, Belgium, Austria and Italy have not been able to present their credentials to the president due to what government officials say is ‘a scheduling problem’ as a result of the President’s “tight diary.”
The delay in receiving the envoys’ credentials may extend even longer once President Uhuru’s crimes against humanity case starts at the International Criminal Court on November 12 as scheduled.
This means that if the President’s diary cannot accommodate the affected envoys in the next three weeks, the earliest they can present their credentials and start working will be December or January 2014.
Yesterday, sources said if the president’s application to have his case start in January next year had been allowed, he would have been able to receive the envoys’ credentials as well as attend to other state functions and responsibilities.
The ICC judges have however rejected Uhuru’s application for January hearing date and ruled that the case must commence on November 12.
Last Friday, Foreign Affairs principal secretary Karanja Kibicho said the government had asked countries intending to post new ambassadors to Kenya to wait as President Kenyatta is too busy to receive their credentials.
He explained that this does not mean closure of the affected embassies as key functions will now be under the deputy head of missions.
Letters of credential are documents that ambassadors, diplomatic ministers, plenipotentiary, and chargés d’affaires provide to the host government to which they are accredited, for the purpose of communicating the envoy’s diplomatic rank. It also contains a request that full credence be accorded to his official statements.
Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 article 13 (i), until his/her credentials have been presented and found in proper order, an envoy receives no official recognition.
The credentials of an ambassador are signed by the head of state, those of a chargé d’affaires by the foreign minister. A host government may reject a diplomat’s credentials by declining to receive them, but in practice this rarely happens.
The convention however does not put a time frame within which the president of the host country should accept the credentials once a new envoy arrives in the host country.
On September 9, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent out an advisory to embassies not to commit themselves because State House had not given them a detailed diary of the President.
The ministry asked the countries to delay the arrival of new envoys due to the President’s tight diary. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would communicate an appropriate date on when the envoys can present their papers.
Diplomatic and government sources have told the Star that the failure to create time for the ambassador is a “quiet diplomatic protest” by President Uhuru against some Western nations which have not been supportive of the governments efforts to have the ICC cases against Uhuru and Deputy President William Rut referred back to Kenya or Arusha Tanzania.
“He believes these powerful countries are behind his tribulations at the ICC. His priority right now is to serve Kenyans, everything else comes second,” said a source in government.
Uhuru’s political advisor Joshua Kutuny has however denied that Uhuru is quietly protesting against some Western nations.
“People should not read too much in this. They should avoid speculation. The president believes in good relations with the international community and our neighbors,” said Kutuny.
He said the president has been particularly busy in recent weeks. “He was in China and then when he came back he went straight to Mombasa for nearly 10 days and then after that he had other engagements before the Westgate mall attacj happened,” explained Kutuny.
In May, British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner was kept waiting for over three weeks before finally getting an appointment. Its claimed that Uhuru was reluctant to meet with Turner after his inauguration on April 9 even though the envoy was supposed to deliver a congratulatory message from UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
Uhuru was angered by Turner’s statements before the March 4 election that the UK would only have “essential contacts” with him if he was elected president because he is an ICC indictee.
Uhuru has so far received credentials from five newly appointed ambassadors since his April 9 inauguration. These are from the Norwegian ambassador to Kenya, Dr. Hanns Brattskar, ambassador Maria Eugenia Correa Olarte of Colombia, the Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See, Archbishop Charles Daniel Balvo, ambassador Marcella Maria Nicodemos of Brazil and ambassador Jhony Fredy Balza Arismendi of Venezuela.
On September 17, the President skipped the United Nations Annual General Assembly meeting because his deputy William Ruto was at the Hague attending proceedings of his case. The Constitution stipulates that the President and his deputy cannot be out of the country at the same time.
Uhuru is a murderer pretending to be a president.
What is worse, he has managed to fool almost the entire Kikuyu tribe to his side. To the Kikuyus, he is supposedly the “savior.” But this is in reality a big fat lie. Maheni matheri (just lies)
The ICC trial will hopefully expose this fraud.
Kenya after Westgate: more trouble ahead – By Richard Dowden
Posted on September 27, 2013 by AfricanArgumentsEditor
What does the appalling attack on people at the Westgate Shopping Centre signify? Does it mean that Al Shabaab is getting stronger or weaker? Was it a show of strength, striking at a multinational target in the heart of Nairobi, or a desperate if spectacular attack on civilians at an easy, poorly-protected target? Is this the new Shabaab or was it an Al Qaeda operation using the Shabaab brand name?
Some of these questions may be answered if the Israeli Mossad interrogators get the surviving attackers to talk. Unlike Western interrogators, the Isrealis are not constrained in the methods they use.
Inspired by the Saudi Wahabist interpretation of Islam – ascetic, extreme, exclusive and violent – Al Qaeda feeds on despair rather than hope. It operates like the mafia, growing rich by terrifying wealthy Arabs into paying protection money. It transformed traditional Somali society by killing local imams or forcing them to abandon their traditional Sufi practices and Somali customs. For example, traditionally Somali women dressed in colourful flowing robes and played prominent social roles. Now they are dressed head to toe in black, dark brown or green and excluded from decision-making and debate.
But in places of extreme injustice you can see why such a millenarian religion might flourish. Somalia has had no government since the late 1980s and has been abandoned by the world from 1995 when the Americans fled and refused to fund the UN force too. Since then the south has been at war, there has been no state, little education or development, permanent insecurity and starvation. Millions have fled and a vast refugee camp, Dadaab, with almost a million inhabitants, has grown up on the Kenyan border.
After decades of clan warfare the people of Somalia rebelled against the warlords. For a brief period in 2005 there was peace under the Islamic Courts Union, some were Al Shabaab but others more moderate. However, Ethiopia (Somalia’s traditional enemy), decided they must be destroyed and invaded with American help, bringing back the warlords. That radicalised the courts and many young men were recruited by Al Shabaab, well-funded by the Saudis and Gulf states. But the Ethiopian invasion failed and an African Union force moved in. It began to push Al Shabaab off the streets of Mogadishu. In 2011 the Kenyan army invaded from the south and drove Al Shabaab out of the lucrative port of Kismayo. The movement was merely driven underground and into the countryside – a far less lucrative prospect than the towns in terms of tax and theft.
Shortly afterwards Shabaab formed an alliance with Al Qaeda. Until then Shabaab saw its mission as controlling territory and people in Somalia. Al Qaeda on the contrary believes in a messianic destruction of western power on earth and its replacement by Islamic law. Its tactics are to launch spectacular terror attacks on civilians. The movement became divided and Godane, closer to Al Qaeda than Aweys, organised a coup.
The background to the coup is well explained here.
The replacement of Aweys by Godane internationalised Al Shabaab and brought it out of Somali internal politics and closer to Al Qaeda’s global agenda. The Westgate bombing is the first manifestation of that.
In the short term what are the dangers? One would be that elements of the AU force and the Kenyan army take revenge on Somalis in Somalia, on the vast camps along the Somali Kenya border or in the traditional Somali area of Eastleigh in Nairobi. There are already scores of reported cases of brutality and rape by Kenyan police on Somali refugees. We know little of how the AU and Kenyan forces behave in Somalia and are regarded by ordinary Somalis there. In the mid 1990s almost every army of the 36 in the UN coalition in Somalia, Unisom – including even the Canadians – was accused of brutality or other crimes against civilians. It would be surprising if the African Union force is any more disciplined, particularly since many Somalis can be racist towards other Africans and reactive to armed foreigners on Somali territory, as I saw frequently during the American and UN occupation.
In these circumstances Al Shabaab, with its weapons and an ideology, might easily find willing Somali recruits or be able to force others to fight for it. But were they the killers at Westgate? Good liberals like myself believe that people who grow up in appalling circumstances, suffer hunger and sickness in childhood and see horrific things from an early age, can easily be persuaded to become rigidly ideological and violent themselves. But again and again in recent years the perpetrators of terror turn out to be young middle class kids from decent homes. It will be important to see the backgrounds of the attackers at Westgate.
What are the other consequences from this apart from the obvious ones like tighter security in Nairobi? These are my guesses:
•More attacks like Westgate in Africa, spreading to countries on the southern border of the Sahara.
•Renewed efforts to strengthen the Somali government in Mogadishu.
•Stoical resistance by the populations of Kenya and Uganda. No Somali pogroms.
•Tourists keep coming to both countries and their economies keep on growing but their populations become more enraged about the corruption of their ruling classes which have failed to protect them.
•Outside Africa – realisation that the real change must come in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, but Europe’s dependence on its oil makes this difficult.
•And finally, the beginning of the end of the International Criminal Court. Western governments will need a stable strong government in Kenya. There is no way the West is going to allow President Kenyatta, who has shown good leadership qualities during the crisis (and his vice-president William Ruto), to spend months at a trial in The Hague and then go to jail.
Richard Dowden is Director of the Royal African Society and author of Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles published by Portobello Books.
After Westgate: Uhuru Kenyatta must still go to The Hague – By Edward Clay
Posted on September 30, 2013 by AfricanArgumentsEditor
Richard Dowden’s last point in his blog posted on 27 September – that the Westgate massacres will spell the end of the International Criminal Court (ICC) – should not pass without challenge. Behind his prediction lies an argument often used before, eg during the Cold War, to justify support for or tolerance of poor governments and poor governance. Some infamous previous events in Kenya have accordingly not been resolved. Following the horror at Westgate, some seem to think a choice must be made between bolstering Kenya in its fight against terror and letting off its President and his deputy from their cases at the ICC.
The victims of Westgate and the bereaved (including the country’s President) deserve every sympathy, and so does Kenya in a bleak hour. Equally, early and rigorous inquiries are required into the events and matters arising.
Appalling as Westgate and earlier terrorist attacks were, a larger loss of life arose from the post-election violence in 2007-8. Comparison of numbers in no way diminishes or belittles the pain and loss of any single victim and loved ones in any of these crimes.
But we have to remember the facts. After the 2007 election, 1,100 died and over 600,000 were terrified into fleeing their homes. The impact was widespread among the Kenyan populace.
The ICC took on the most serious ensuing prosecutions because the Kenyan government could not take up the invitation to do so. The cases cannot simply now be undone by will of the Kenyan parliament or disapproval of the African Union.
The President is constitutionally bound to ensure Kenya honours its obligations to the ICC as to its other international commitments. He has said he will. Doing otherwise will mean breaking the letter and spirit of the new Kenyan Constitution.
For its part, the Court has shown itself sensitive to Kenya’s present plight in dealing with Vice-President Ruto’s request to be allowed home to help with the aftermath.
Making the tragic events at Westgate a justification for leaving totally unresolved the cases placed before the ICC will, however, dishonour the victims of both horrific episodes.
An effective counter-terrorism strategy needs broad public acceptance, trust and support. Kenya’s foreign friends should support the country’s leaders and parliamentarians in turning their outrage over Westgate into a determination to protect Kenya’s declared values. These include upholding international norms, protecting the rights of its citizens and resolving all abuses of them, against corrosion from internal or external sources.
Sir Edward Clay is former British High Commissioner to Kenya, Uganda and non-resident Ambassador to Rwanda and Burundi.
Read this essay and make your own decision becouse Corruption and lack of patriotism has made Kenya Security organizations , Military etc to become (Anus) thinking corrupt organizations,When policemen hire their weapons to criminals,when KDF officer allow Somalis/Ethiopians ,Sudanese to cross border through bribing them, When soldiers indulge in Cattle/Camels/goats /sheep and other corruption in the whole of NFD .Kenya security becomes compromised , Alqaida has been settled in kenya through bribing ,fake marriage(organized fake marriages) establishing businesses without problem hence corruption in every govt offices, aquiring Kenya id cards/Passport and no bothering running Swahili hence english is Ok.The appointment of one dominant tribe to lead security organs in all branches namely Nis/Army /Navy/Airforce/Para-militaryGSU/Police/Aps /Prison warders/Game warders/NYS/City Council Askaris makes security of Kenya very dangerous, Kikuyu tribe has dominated this country for so long thinking ,that they are the only tribe that can control every tribe in this Kenya>Note -These Kikuyu ruling class has resisted reforms within the Corrupt Police! then there is this power struggle among regular Police and the Aps which their How ‘Judases’ in the police aid terrorism
Posted by: The People in National October 6, 2013 0 1,853 Views
Shortly before two Iranians were arrested with bomb making materials in Mombasa late last year, the occupant of a neighboring house where the two Iranians had been staying had spotted a truck outside their house and carpets being loaded to it. Suspecting the carpets could be used to conceal some dangerous cargo, the neighbour had alerted the police.
The police moved swiftly and mounted a roadblock on the road to the estate. The suspicious truck was intercepted. The occupants of the truck who everybody in the neighbourhood knew to be Iranians identified themselves to the police as Indians and produced passports to prove the same. The police officers allowed them to proceed without even searching the truck. It was not clear whether money changed hands but that was the end of the story. A few days later, the two Iranians were arrested with the bomb-making materials.
Why did the police in Mombasa not escort the truck to the police station and do a random check? If the Iranians claimed they were Indians, what harm would it have caused to call the Indian High Commission, or even the the consulate in Mombasa, to verify their claims? The incident is just but one example of how terrorists have escaped security dragnet either because our law enforcers were ignorant or negligent. But popular opinion is that our police and other security agents get compromised by the terrorists. Since the 1998 terrorist bombing at the US embassy, known terror suspects have been arrested only to be freed under mysterious circumstances to regroup and attack the country once more.
The story is the same: from Fazul Mohamed, the mastermind of the embassy bombing, who was once arrested in Malindi but later released, to the key suspect in the Westgate massacre, Samantha Leathwaite (White Window) who has been arrested and released in Mombasa. Sadiq Odeh, the co-planner of the embassy attack, lived and freely strolled Mombasa streets days to the 1998 terrorist attack.
Senior intelligence officials actually helped the US embassy bombers acquire national identification documents in Mombasa. Immediately after the 1998 bombing, anti-terror police arrested key suspects in Mombasa. They were briefly detained at the provincial police headquarters under heavy guard. On they day they were to be transported to Nairobi for further interrogation, they mysteriously vanished in the streets of Mombasa never to be heard of again. Terror masterminds are known to carry with them loads of money to buy their escape and freedom when need arises.
When Fazul was accidentally shot and killed at a roadblock in Mogadishu, the Somali police recovered over US$ 200,000 in the car he was travelling in. Seasoned terrorists are also masters in getting assimilated to the community even as they plan their deadly attacks. When planning the embassy bombing, Sadiq Odehlived in Mombasa for months making frequent trips by bus to Witu –a desolate and quiet Swahili town halfway between Garsen and Lamu. He masqueraded as a fish monger as he organised transportation of bomb making materials from Somalia.
His soulmate, Fazul Mohamed, much later visited the island of Pate where he was welcomed as a guest and even evolved into a Madrassa teacher and finally married the daughter of a former councillor. To kill his time in the idyllic island, he formed two football teams for the local youths which he named Al Qaeda and Kandahar. The local police and the Intelligence never smelt a rat even in the curious names he gave the football teams. Either they were just ignorant or were compromised. Fazul was a regular visitor to a popular coffee house in Mombasa where he spent hours at the sidewalk chatting with friends without a worry. The story of how masterminds of terror freely walk in and out our neighborhoods without suspicion is the same about drug traffickers. Indeed, there is widespread suspicion they could be one and the same people. This is how a source familiar with the Ibrahim Akasha drugs saga put it to this writer: “ Facilitators of drug trafficking are the same ones who bring in the bomb making materials as well as other weapons used by terrorists.
They use the same routes with clear police protection, of course, after money has changed hands. The source disclosed that at one time, one of the Akasha sons drove a truck laden with drugs from Mombasa to Nairobi with a senior policeman at the passenger’s seat to make sure the truck was not stopped at the numerous police roadblocks on the way.The senior policeman, now deceased, later rose to Commissioner of Police! In 1996, a truck which had been dispatched to fetch 20 tons of hashish which had been offloaded from a ship in the high seas and transported in a dhow to the small fishing hamlet of Bodo in Ukunda, got stuck in the sand and police were alerted. The then commandant at Msambweni Police Station arrived at the scene and immediately confiscated the consignment while arresting the truck driver and his loaders.
Unknown to him, his compatriot at Diani Police Station was on the pay-roll of the drug traffickers and was dispatched to retrieve the cargo. The public watched in horror as the two officers both resplendent in uniform drew guns and threatened each other with dire consequences. The standoff was only settled by their seniors in Mombasa. At the end of it all, the owners of the truck and the dhow were arraigned in court and sentenced to jail, but the owner(s) of the consignment were never known.The drug haul was later stealthily ferreted out of Bamburi Police Station and transported to an unknown destination.
The two junior police officers were later transferred to faraway stations. Around the same time, a Chinese ship which was suspected to carry arms destined for a militia operating in the region was denied entry into Tanzania. After a week in the high seas, the ship docked in Mombasa. Under cover of darkness, the weapons were offloaded and escorted by officers from the local security agencies to an undisclosed location in the town.
The next day, a security team comprising senior officials from the Kenya Navy officials, the Kenya Ports Authority and the district security chiefs arrived at the scene to “investigate” only to find the ship loaded with bags of beans.There, however, was evidence of gun oil and splinters from the wooden crates which had housed the weapons before their hurried removal. The local media which had been duped in the diversionary exercise carried a headline which comically dismissed the allegations of weapons as just “bags of beans “. Because of corruption at the port of Mombasa, terrorists and drug traffickers easily manage to sneak in their deadly cargo, thanks to a cabal of operatives in clearing and forwarding companies outside the port who claim to have powerful connection high up in the government. And it is the same story at the immigration department, where illegal aliens are allowed in and issued with relevant documents to “Kenyanise” them. That explains why the Westgate terrorists were able to enter and live in the country for so long without raising the alarm. Corruption within Kenyan security and the immigration department is clearly one weak link that will always give terrorists the upper hand.
By ABEID MUSTAFA
commanders has resisted being combined in one unit (police force,.read here>
Monday, October 7, 2013
When rapists go scot free
By NJERI RUGENE
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On the morning of June 26 this year, a teenage girl left home to attend the funeral of her grandfather in the Tingolo village of Butula, Busia County.
She was a 16-year-old reservoir of energy, the wind on her sails so strong that she knew it would be just a matter of time before she left her restive village and headed to the big city to pursue a career in the corporate world.
Even at that young age, she knew what she wanted to be. And no, it was not a doctor, or a lawyer, or a pilot as they always dream, but a CEO. Of which company she was not sure, but she had these constant images of herself sitting on the far end of a boardroom, her lieutenants on each side of a huge table as they discussed the strategic interests of the firm she headed.
But on this day something heavy weighed her down.
She had lost a dear grandfather, and today they would bury him. As happens in any village when an old man passes on, Tingolo had gathered to bid farewell to its patriach.
The girl sat in silence, watching as the village performed the last rites on the fallen man.
It was more of a celebration of a life well lived than a mournful event, and in her mind she hoped she would live a life as industrious and long as that of this great man of Tingolo.
The ceremony over, she bid her folks goodbye and headed home, as jolly and sociable as ever. Sadly, she never got to rest. Six men attacked her on the way, beat her up and gang-raped her for hours.
And then, in the cover of the night, and the girl already unconscious, the attackers decided to conceal their heinous act by dumping her where no one, they hoped, would ever find her: deep inside a 20-foot pit latrine.
The girl, whom we shall only call Liz as we cannot reveal her identity for ethical reasons, spent the night inside the latrine, severely injured and traumatised. Luckily, she survived, and two weeks ago we traced her to Eldoret.
To say what is happening to Liz is sad would be a gross understatement.
Months after the incident, the happy-go-lucky girl who hoped to one day become the CEO of a leading company is now confined to a wheelchair.
Doctors say she might have broken her spinal cord either during the rape ordeal or after she was thrown in the pit latrine. And, as if that is not tragic enough, the Standard Seven pupil has developed obstetric fistula, a condition that leaves a woman with a leaking bladder and, in extreme conditions such as hers, leakage of stool as well.
On the day we met her at the Gynocare Fistula Centre in Eldoret, she struggled to put on a brave face, punctuated every now and then by an on-off smile.
The plasticity of that grin, however, was not hard to notice because, let’s face it, this is a girl who is going through a nightmare so horrific it chills the bones to even imagine.
“She has changed dramatically,” her 37-year-old mother muses, as if to herself, the pain her daughter is going through evidently taking a toll on her as well. The ordeal has left the girl an emotional wreck, her innocence and dreams shattered by people that, she says, are well known to her.
And, to add insult to injury, it appears that no one, not even the police who are supposed to aid her judicial quest, is willing to help her carry this load.
The attackers have been left free to roam her village, to taunt her even. Liz, therefore, only has her mother to clutch onto. And that, in these circumstances, is a pain too hard to stomach.
“My wish is to see justice done,” she sobs. “I want my attackers arrested and punished.”
This is how her life took this sad turn: She had spent hours serving visitors who had attended her grandfather’s funeral and, at the end of the long day, decided to walk the distance of about two kilometres to her home and sleep the fatigue away.
The assailants attacked her half-way home. Terrified and alone in the dark, she screamed for help but none came.
The young men first beat her up to shut her up then took turns raping her. Before she lost consciousness, however, Liz recognised three of the attackers, and two weeks ago she insisted she knew them not only by their names, but also their homes.
Neighbours who had heard her cries of help — and who, for some reason, did not come to her rescue at the time of the attack — gathered before dawn and mounted a search, which eventually ended at the pit latrine.
When she came to, she explained what had happened to her and named three of the attackers she recognised, then she was rushed to hospital.
Ms Linner Too, a counsellor at the fistula centre in Eldoret, says the girl arrived at the hospital just as she was beginning to relapse into a pyschological and emotional abyss.
“She was traumatised beyond words,” says Ms Too. “She sounded very bitter and refused to talk to anyone. After a lot of counseling, we are glad she is improving.’’
The weeks that preceded her arrival at Gynocare Fistula Centre were a nightmare for Liz and her family. Everybody who should have cared — from local medics to the police and parents of some of the assailants — appeared to have conspired against her.
LET THEM CUT GRASS
When she was rescued, for instance, she was taken to the Tingolo Administration Police Camp to record a statement.
As luck would have it, villagers frog-marched the three suspects she had identified while she was still at the camp. But her relief at the arrest of the three quickly turned out to be a disappointment.
“The three, for some strange reason, were only ordered to cut grass around the police camp and set free shortly after,” says Liz’s mother. “In the meantime, the police told me to take the girl home so that she could take a shower before taking her to hospital.”
At Musibiriri Dispensary, with one of the culprit’s mother in tow, the medic on duty could only prescribe painkillers for Liz. Then mother and daughter went back home to nurse their respective pains.
And now, satisfied that their crime would be swept under the carpet, all the attackers have returned to roam the village. As if their presence is not harrowing enough, some of them and their parents continue to harass and intimidate Liz and her family, says her mother.
“They often call purporting to find out how she is faring. They promise to give us something small for medical expenses and then go under until the next call,” she says, singling out one instance where the father of one of the suspects humiliated her husband when he went to the man’s home to collect some money he had been promised to help take Liz to hospital.
“He angrily sent him off shouting that the crime was committed by a group, not just his son,’’ she says.
As all this happened, Liz’s condition deteriorated and, after a few days, she could neither stand nor walk. The mother sold what she says were her most valuable possessions — four chicken — so she could seek specialised treatment.
But four chicken cannot help cure obstetric fistula and spinal damage, so the family leased out their farm for four years to off-set part of the medical bill.
At the Butere Hospital, where Liz was first admitted for a week, doctors did not detect anything amiss with the girl and only prescribed physiotherapy.
But that did not help and, eventually, she was referred to the provincial hospital in Kakamega, where keener medics discovered she had developed obstetric fistula.
Touched by the girl’s plight, an official of the Mumias Muslim Community Project took her to the Gynocare Fistula Centre in Eldoret, where she has since been getting specialised attention.
“This is one of the saddest cases I have ever dealt with,’’ says Dr Florentius Koech, a consultant neurosurgeon and lecturer at the Moi University School of Medicine.
“You look at her and see the worst kind of despair. She has a serious spinal injury, she is leaking urine and stool because she has also developed fistula, and the family is too poor to afford the spinal surgery and other necessary and related medical investigations.’’
Dr Koech says that while he and the centre are ready to give her free service for most of the basic investigations such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which costs a minimum of Sh15,000, Liz is likely to be discharged without her spinal injury being treated if the parents do not raise the fees for it.
It gets worse: Dr Hillary Mabeya, one of the country’s only eight fistula surgeons, says corrective surgery for fistula cannot be repaired before the spinal injury is fixed “because of pressure on the spine”.
“I am in a dilemma in terms of how to start management of her condition,” he says. “She will need to undergo very expensive tests to be able to tell which parts have been damaged. She most likely will need double surgery to repair the effects and injuries on the spine.’’
Luckily for now, Dr Mabeya, who also heads the Reproductive Health Unit at Moi Referral Hospital, Eldoret, is a bit reluctant to let Liz go untreated. “We are still keeping her here in the hope that help will somehow come to enable the spinal surgery.”
But the two doctors and the management of the hospital are an unhappy lot and find it curious that the tormentors and attackers of the 16-year-old girl are yet to be arrested, three months since their horrendous crime.
“The question we keep asking here is how a crime like that can go unnoticed by law enforcers,’’ says Dr Koech. “What saddens us most is the fact that the matter was reported to the police, no action was taken and the assailants continue with their normal lives in the village. The girl is devastated.’’
Mr Jared Momanyi, head of programmes at the Centre, is more infuriated. He says he alerted the office of the Busia County Governor when the girl was brought in and are yet to get a response.
“I informed the Governor’s office because they understand the administrative units within the county and would help make a follow-up,’’ says Mr Momanyi. “They have not got back to us since. These attackers need to get arrested and thrown behind bars, where they belong. The girl needs justice.’’
Mr Momanyi says he finds it a mystery that although a report was made at the Tingolo AP Camp, indications are that no statement was taken from the girl. “Are they also not police who know the law? Why did they opt for a kangaroo court?’’ he wonders.
The two doctors and Gynocare, however, are not the only ones shocked by failure to bring to book Liz’s abusers. Busia County MP Florence Mutua expressed her dismay when DN2 called her last week to seek her comment on the matter.
“Are you for real?” she asked. “Are you sure this serious crime happened in Busia? How come no one has taken action?’’
Within 10 minutes, she had called Gynocare Fistula Centre, pledged to meet costs of Liz’s initial medical tests, and called the area’s police boss to explain the mystery.
“I am very upset that we have such boys in Butula. The police are now on it and I have made it clear that arrests have to be made,’’ the ODM MP told DN2 from Nairobi. “I am very disturbed.’’
As at last Sunday, however, Liz had not received any of the help promised. Her mother, a fishmonger, thinks they have been denied justice — and continue to be harassed and intimidated by some of the attackers and their parents — simply because they are poor.
“Any time I bump into any of them, I always wish I was a policeman,” she says. “You see, if I was a policeman, I would arrest them.’’
As for Liz, she prays that the devil that has visited her will be dealt with, so that she can return to school, get back to work and keep her dream of becoming a CEO alive.
The ICC unfairly targets Africans?? Really??!!
Or perhaps its a sad reflection of the terrible, criminal and corrupt leadership that many africans have to endure. Kenyatta, Hassan al-Bashir, Mugabe, Zuma etc etc ….would you vote for them?
A Cursed Nigger Country where 40 million Zombies wail loundly and gnash their teeth >but still cannot think /wake up and stop kneeling worshipping Money/A lawless Society very corrupt from her leaders >Criminals threaten innocent peopleusing thjeir telephones /send threats through sms yet the corrupt System cannot trace where the call is comming from >thats how terrorists who attacked Westgate could still communicate with their Leaders without Corrpt System detecting who’s calling who? The westrn govt must crack the whip and wake deal with this Bogus Nation where leaders are the terrorist themselves , The UK/USA /France /Canada /Australia & the whole of EU countries must unite and deal with Kenya corrupt govt without listening to AU (African Union) which is rubbish and led by criminals who has rejected and resisted democracy civilization and the rule of the law,human rights violation and worshipping Chinese Money that have brought a new worshipping cultre and tradition to all mad-leaders of this dark Continent where millions wail and gnash their teeth waiting for their master Saviour to come and free them , what’s wonderful myths.
Kofi Annan dismisses criticism of ICC
08 Oct 2013 07:19|Chantal Presence
If African victims could get justice in their own countries, there would be no need for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to step in, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan said on Monday.
Speaking at the third annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture, Annan came to the defence of the ICC – which had come under increasing criticism from African countries for “unfairly targeting Africans”.
“On a continent that has experienced deadly conflict, gross violations of human rights, even genocide, I am surprised to hear critics ask whether the pursuit of justice might obstruct the search for peace,” Annan told a packed University of the Western Cape main hall.
Annan said justice and peace were interlinked, and one could not be achieved without the other.
“We must be ambitious enough to pursue both, and wise enough to recognise, respect and protect the independence of justice,” he said.
“And we must always have the courage to ask ourselves ‘who speaks for the victims’?”
Annan bemoaned the fact that “the victims of the worst crimes” in Africa had been failed due to inaction against the perpetrators.
In most cases, it was Africans that sought justice, when courts in their own countries had failed them.
‘Abuses of power’
“In four of the cases on Africa before the court, African leaders themselves made the referral to the ICC. In two others – Darfur and more recently Libya – it was the United Nations Security Council, and not the court, which initiated proceedings,” he said.
Speaking to media shortly after his address, Annan reiterated the ICC was set up as a court of last resort.
“If African victims can get justice at home and we have credible courts and they do take action there’ll be no need for [the] ICC,” Annan said.
Earlier in his speech, Annan spoke out against the “winner takes all” approach to politics on the continent.
“We have see how this has led to abuses of power by the winner and encouraged losers to reject democracy as a peaceful means for change,” he said.
“Too often, the individual interests of leaders have been misconstrued as interests of their country.”
Annan also paid tribute to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu – who celebrated his 82nd birthday.
“Desmond has always found the courage, no matter how uncomfortable or dangerous, to speak truth to power.”
Introducing Annan to the crowd earlier on, Tutu said he was “deeply blessed” that Annan had chosen to speak at the lecture, describing the former UN chief as “humble”.
“Unfortunately, you won’t see he’s blushing,” Tutu told guests who roared with laughter.
In his brief introduction, Tutu said he “felt sorry for God”.
The Arch – as he’s affectionately known around the world – made brief reference to the strife in Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Can you imagine what it must be like for God … looking down saying those are my children in Syria, those using chemical weapons are my children, those dying are my children,” Tutu said. – Sapa
14 March 2012 Last updated at 09:55 GMT
Ten years, $900m, one verdict: Does the ICC cost too much?
By Jon Silverman, Professor of Media and Criminal Justice, University of Bedfordshire
The International Criminal Court has delivered its first judgement, after a decade in existence, and spending nearly $1bn. Critics say it costs too much, but is this fair?
The International Criminal Court (ICC) currently has an annual budget of over $140m (£90m) and 766 staff.
Since its inception, its estimated expenditure has been around $900m (£600m).
With only one completed trial to show for a decade of effort and expenditure, the ICC has faced regular criticism that it sucks in investment with few results to show for it.
Indeed, this is a common refrain at the regular annual meeting in The Hague of the Assembly of States Parties which funds the court.
Continue reading the main story “Start QuoteYou can’t compare the cost of international justice with shopping at a supermarket”
End Quote Philippe Sands QC University College London
Some 120 states have ratified the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, and as its paymasters, many cite the slow pace of prosecutions as justification for shaving a few millions off the agreed budget.
But to point to one trial, that of the Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga, and argue that it has cost X millions, would be both unfair and misleading.
After all, the ICC budget has to pay for staff salaries, building rental, global travel, intensive investigations in often hostile terrain, translators, for the defence teams, for legal aid for defendants and victims and so on.
The court registry – the administrative heart of the tribunal – pays most of these bills, which explains why it takes up around half of the budget. So the impression, on paper, that the bureaucrats are getting a disproportionate slice of the cake, is misleading.
Are there useful comparisons to be made between the permanent ICC and the so-called ad hoc tribunals set up to investigate and prosecute those who bore the greatest responsibility for the crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR)?
The annual budget for the ICTY has gone up 500-fold since it began life in 1993.
Continue reading the main story In custody One conviction: Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga found guilty of recruiting child soldiers
There are four suspects in ICC custody:
Ivory Coast: Laurent GbagboDRC: Germain Katanga, Matthieu Ngudjolo ChuiCAR: Jean-Pierre BembaICC finds Congo warlord guilty
Then, it was a modest $276,000 (£176,000). For the two-year period 2010-11, it had risen to over $301m (£192m).
Over this period, more than 60 people have been convicted and proceedings against 40-plus defendants are still ongoing. It employs 869 staff.
The ICTR budget for 2010-2011 was $257m (£165m) and it has 750 posts. It has completed almost 50 trials since it was established in 1994.
But costs for both the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda tribunals are on a clear downward trend now, as they begin the process of winding up their work.
On these figures alone, the ICC comes out poorly in a value for money contest.
But whereas the ad hoc tribunals are geographically focused, the ICC has a global remit and has to engage in often lengthy negotiations with national judicial systems to attempt to meet its goals.
It is also true that the early phases of the Lubanga trial, which began in January 2009, were stretched out by procedural litigation which might be expected in a virgin court.
However, the trial could and should have started many months earlier had not the prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo refused to disclose hundreds of documents which might have aided the defence case. The stand-off over this issue almost led to Lubanga being freed and the whole trial collapsing.
This points to a failing common to many of the international tribunals, which is a tendency by the prosecution to have one eye on the bar of history by presenting an overblown case, rather than one which is more tightly focused and can be completed within a realistic timescale.
Continue reading the main story ICC in brief Set up in 2002 Based in The Hague, the NetherlandsDeals with genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggressionProsecutor is Luis Moreno-Ocampo (above left) and it has 18 judgesInvestigating cases in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Darfur in Sudan, Kenya, Libya and Ivory Coast15 cases brought before the court so far – three are at trial stageSource: ICC factsheet
Even staunch defenders of international criminal justice, such as Professor Philippe Sands QC, of University College London, say this is a legitimate concern.
“Yes, there are questions about processes. Are the rules of procedure too cumbersome? Should the indictments be more narrowly drawn?”
However, questions about its budget need to be seen in context, Sands says.
“The costs of the Lubanga trial and the ICC as a whole are small compared to the global aid budget, and completely irrelevant as compared with defence spending.”
Even before the current global recession, the mounting costs of international justice and questions over legitimacy had begun to bother governments.
This is why the favoured course over the past decade has been to set up “hybrid” tribunals, which are a collaboration between the international community and individual states.
The prime examples are Cambodia, East Timor, and perhaps most successfully, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, which is dealing with the trial of the former Liberian president Charles Taylor.
But these tribunals are all time-limited. The only permanent criminal court is the ICC and, as such, will continue to attract criticism.
It is, however, a long-term project and arguably still in its early days, and as Sands points out, some things do not come with a clear price tag: “You can’t compare the cost of international justice with shopping at a supermarket.”
Correction: An earlier version of this report used figures based on an annual budget for the ICTY and ICTR, when in fact they both now operate with a biennial budget. The figures have been amended and an associated graph removed.
The western Countries should not let them be held at ransom by a wanted Nigger President Uhuru Kenyattaand William Ruto who is playing seek and hide games with Western European Nations and the USA by refusing and meet the new ambassadors for accrindition in Nairobi Kenya. This is impunity of the highest order by a naughty Slave (rebelling9 against its master by threatening to kill the master/rape his wife /hang his dog/and burn his House? Why should the west democracy and civilization sit idle and close their eyes when Uhuru Kenyatta &Ruto are humiliating the Westafter killing many at the Westgate?where is western intelligence?Where are the Navy Seals who can snatch Uhuru Kenyatta and take him to Hague Before locking him inside USA/UK Naval ships (6th fleet outside Mombasa(Indian Ocean)The five Embassodors should not leave Kenya but they must go on with their official duties hence Geneva Convention and Diplomatic immunity protects them from a Rogue nation and her Criminal President and his deputy who should be locked in Hague detention jail awaiting their serious and heinous cases that will send them to many years in prison.Treat Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto in just the same way you treatedthe former Gaddafi the mad-dictator of Libya who was suffering from rabies<the mad-dog.
Lobby now asks President Uhuru Kenyatta to ignore date with ICC
Updated Sunday, October 6th 2013 at 22:42 GMT +3
By KAMAU MAICHUHIE
KENYA: A lobby has asked President Uhuru Kenyatta not to travel to The Hague next month for the commencement of his trail.
The Kiambu County-based lobby group said the President should skip the court date since it will be a humiliation to Kenya and Kenyans.
Mururumo na Uhuru Mashinani lobby group chairman Caleb Warari said the country needs permanent presence of the president and his deputy as manifested recently during the Westgate mall attack.
â€œWe urge the president not to travel to The Hague, let the ICC bring back the cases here or at least in Tanzania for the convenience of the president and his deputy,â€ said Warari.
â€œOur leaders are wasting a lot of resources and precious time in these frequent trips to The Hague, Netherlands, which is not well for our economy.â€
Warari said the ICC should be cautious with the Kenyan cases for the sake of national unity and reconciliation.
Uhuru date with ICC
â€œLet the ICC know that we forgave each other, reconciled and moved on,â€ Warari noted.
He said ICC is a political court saying that is why the court has persistently refused to bring back the cases to the country or the neighboring Tanzania despite numerous pleas from Kenyans.
He urged the ICC to respect the verdict of the Kenyan people after they showed confidence in the two leaders despite them being ICC inductees.
Warari made the remarks in Ruiru town during the groupâ€™s annual general meeting. The group claims a membership of more than 30,000.
Last month the court decided that Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto will not be tried at the same time. ICC presiding judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said the cases will alternate every four weeks.
The case involving Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang is ongoing while that involving Uhuru starts on November 12.
Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA P. O. Box 3243 Tel : 251-11-5517700 Fax : 251-11-5517844 / 5182523
website : http://www.au.int
Fifteenth Extraordinary Session
11 October 2013
Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA
1. Opening Ceremony
2. Adoption of the Agenda and the Programme of Work
3. Discussion on the theme “Africa’s Relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC)”
4. Election of the Commissioner for Peace and Security
5. Any Other Business.
Understanding the International Criminal Court
14. If those who bear the greatest responsibility hold high political or military office, are they not exempt from prosecution? Can they not be granted immunity or amnesty?
No one is EXEMPT from prosecution because of his or her current functions or because of the position he or she held at the time the crimes concerned were committed. Acting as a Head of State or Government, minister or parliamentarian DOES NOT exempt anyone from criminal responsibility before the ICC. In some circumstances, a person in a position of authority may even be held responsible for crimes committed by those acting under his or her command or orders. Likewise, AMNESTY CANNOT be used as a defence before the ICC. As such, it cannot bar the Court from exercising its jurisdiction.
15. If the ICC issues an arrest warrant against a current or former head of state, is it for political reasons?
No. The ICC is a judicial institution with an exclusively judicial mandate. It is not subject to political control. As an independent court, its decisions are based on legal criteria and rendered by impartial judges in accordance with the provisions of its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, and other legal texts governing the work of the Court.
16. There are allegations that the ICC is only targeting African countries. Is that true?
No. The ICC is concerned with countries that have accepted the Court’s jurisdiction and these are in all continents. African countries made great contributions to the establishment of the Court and influenced the decision to have an independent Office of the Prosecutor. In 1997, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was very active in supporting the proposed Court and its declaration on the matter was endorsed in February 1998, by the participants of the African Conference meeting in Dakar, Senegal, through the “Declaration on the Establishment of the International Criminal Court”. At the Rome Conference itself, the most meaningful declarations about the Court were made by Africans. Without African support the Rome Statute might never have been adopted.
In fact, Africa is the most heavily represented region in the Court’s membership. The trust and support comes not only from the governments, but also from civil society organisations. The Court has also benefited from the professional experience of Africans and a number of Africans occupy high-level positions in all organs of the Court. The majority of ICC investigations were opened at the request of or after consultation with African governments. Other investigations were opened following a referral by the United Nations Security Council, where African governments are also represented. Finally, in addition to its formal investigations, the Court’s Office of the Prosecutor is conducting preliminary examinations in a number of countries across four continents.
Click to access UICCEng.pdf
He was warned that his candidature ‘will seriously downgrade and degrade the preeminence of Kenya’s imperial Presidency’ His supporters dismissed the above admonition and egged him on woefully oblivious of the dangers highlighted above and blinded by hatred of a certain politician.
During the presidential debates UHURU dismissed ICC as a personal challenge. His supporters accepted it at face value and never bothered to interrogate how it will impact on him personally and the Country in general. In the USA/UK anyone facing criminal charges at a local court would never run for a county rep and yet the arguments advanced in this article seek to draw comparison with these countries. That argument would not wash amongst the right thinking Kenyans.
It is important therefore that Kenyans learn critical lessons from these experience and ensure that the national body politics and public life is cleansed once and for all from criminals facing all kinds of crimes ever holding a public office and dragging the prestige of our national institutions in the gutters of their crimes .It is common practice in Kenya to see people with multiple criminal cases vying for public office with impunity. This must be brought to an end.
Mourning about the unfairness and the indignities of ICC is tantamount to shutting the stables after the horses have bolted. We cannot have our cake and eat.
As much Uhuru may take Counsel from the one dictator Museveni, neigbouring countries are out to no good for Kenya. They want a collapsed Kenya, one that would be fugitive, they are just out to see an ICC hostile Kenya which will be alienated, sanctioned and ruined. Uhuru can do whatever he wants but one thing I know and understand is that it will be hard times for Kenyans jubilee supporters included. If these guys are innocent like they keep saying, they should just go through the process and clear their names. If they think they will be guilty, then they can start plea bargain and organize how to bring all Kenyan leaders for reconciliation. It is not only the Kikuyus and Kalenjin who need it. From Nyanza to Coast, to Western, to Eastern, to NE, to R. Valley that is what leadership is all about! Where is Kibaki?????????? He is not talking about this ICC thing yet he knows too much!!!
Why ICC cannot expressly bar immunity for Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto
Updated Monday, September 9th 2013 at 22:51 GMT +3
By DANN MWANGI
The debate about the International Criminal Court has been very intense and divisive in Kenya for the last three years. Before the former ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, invoked his proprio mutu powers in Article 15 of the Rome Statute to the ICC to commence investigations in Kenya, very few Kenyans knew of the existence of such a court.
Today, almost all Kenyans know about the existence of such a court but very few understand the working of the court and the politics and diplomacy dynamics that surround the court.
Against this background, Kenyans will keenly watch as the first trial of a Kenyan citizen and above all a high ranking one, William Ruto, begins this week. In addition, the trial will begin at a time when parliament has successfully initiated plans to have Kenya quit the Rome Statute, which established the ICC.
Regardless of which opinion one holds, this will not just be an ordinary trial of a citizen. It extends to the trial of Kenya as a state. Kenya will face trial for not having the will to domestically prosecute international crimes and also for not having a credible judicial system between 2008-2010. In fact, Kenya has on this yardstick been tried before and â€œconvictedâ€ by the ICC. When President Kibakiâ€™s administration contested the admissibility of the Kenyan cases before the ICC, the ICC judges were categorical that Kenya lacked the goodwill to prosecute the crimes.
These trials will definitely shape the jurisdiction and landscape of international criminal law and international customary law. It will be the first time that a sitting head of state and his deputy will be charged for international crimes that were committed before they assumed office. In many instances, like the case of former Liberia President Charles Taylor and Augustiono Pinochet of Chile, such charges are brought once a leader leaves office.
In this respect, the question on whether or not these leaders enjoy immunity arises. Although it seems easy to answer this question because Article 27 of the ICCâ€™s statute bars immunity of any form, the interface between the ICCâ€™s statute, our Kenyan Constitution and the decision of the UNâ€™s International Court of Justice (ICJ) would make it difficult to answer this question.
Our Constitution, which is the supreme law of Kenya, acknowledges in Article 6 that any treaty ratified by Kenya forms part of the Kenyan laws but the same Constitution in Article 143 (1)-(3) protects the President from any criminal and civil proceedings during his tenure. However, Article 143 (4) of the same Constitution waives immunity of the President if he hss been prosecuted under a treaty that bars such immunity like the ICC one that Kenya has ratified.
On the same issue of immunity under international law, the judgment of Pinochet before the UK House of Lords and that of Yerodia/Arrest Warrant Case 2002 before the International Court of Justice would give very divergent views, though valid, of immunity of heads of state before the ICC. The UK House of Lords held that Pinochet would face charges for crimes committed during his tenure but in the Yerodia case, the ICJ held that serving heads of state, heads of government and foreign ministers enjoy a broad personal immunity from the jurisdiction of foreign domestic courts, including immunity from prosecution for international crimes. The immunity of heads of state was also dealt with by the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in Prosecutor v. Blaskic case. The Chamber accepted that international law immunities can be pleaded before an international tribunal.
Obviously, these are confusing precedents from three credible judicial institutions and the need for this matter to be made clear at the international criminal law is important. In fact, this explains why one of the renowned scholars in the ICC processes, Dapo Akande, has criticised the court for not seeking an advisory opinion from ICJ on this issue of immunity for high ranking government officials. For now, any prosecution of Kenyatta and Ruto while in office can be challenged on the grounds of immunity.
The writer is a lawyer
The Compromised (Zombies) of Kenyan people Should reject the Leaders apponted by Uhuru Kenyatta to lead the Commission of inquirely into the Westgate Terrorist attack hence Some like Haji are questionable characters (doubble agents) of both Kenya and Somali(Al-shaababs>Duale the jubilee majority senate Leader is Uhurus attack dog and anti-western countries These men really hates white people with Passion(and Gusto)JKIA police nab Westgate paymasters
Posted by: The People in Main story October 10, 2013 0 960 Views
The extent of Kenya’s vulnerability to terrorism continued to unravel after police arrested three Turkish suspects, carrying Sh30 million (USD 348,000) in cash at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, as they were about to fly all to Somalia. Police suspect they were travelling to pay some of the masterminds of the Westgate mall attack.
Police sources told The People the three foreigners had apparently managed to compromise a whole chain of ostensibly tight airport security and were nabbed just as they were about to board an aircraft, when a junior anti-terrorism police officer became suspicious of their cash cargo.
The cash seizure once again puts sharp focus on the country’s porous borders and corruption-ridden entry and exit points, which have widely been blamed as key facilitators of terrorist activities. The People Sunday Edition ran a chronology of terrorism incidents that have rocked Kenya since the US Embassy bombing of 1998, with details on how terrorists often wriggled out of police dragnet through corruption.
Police and intelligence authorities yesterday said initial investigation showed the money was meant to pay either some of the al Shabaab masterminds or individuals involved in the Westgate Mall attack, based in Somalia. Our security sources indicate that the path of the suspected money smugglers may have been made smooth by airport officials who had been compromised to allow them passage through security checks.
They were arrested at the last moment while waiting to board the plane. Intelligence reports by top security sources indicate the cash was concealed as ordinary luggage by three Turkish nationals who were to aboard East African Safaris Express Flight No 5B-1826. It also emerged that the three, whose names police listed alongside their passports, could not speak either English or Kiswahili and had been in the country posing as tourists.
On the day the Westgate mall was attacked by terrorists, police at JKIA arrested a terror suspect destined for Turkey. According to records, the three came to the country on October 4, two weeks after the mall attack. Their visas indicated they were employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent on a one-month holiday in Kenya. Police were yet to establish where the three were booked between October 4 and Monday this week.
Detectives were even more puzzled when the three said in their statements they intended to travel to Somalia as “tourists” for two days before retuning to Kenya, yet few tourists if any are known to head to the volatile destination. They were also said to have been constantly in touch with some individuals in Somalia since their arrival in the country.
According to sources, the trio had been cleared to the airside before a junior Anti-Terrorism Police Unit officer intercepted them and demanded they open their luggage to confirm the contents. “Right from the departure room, these people were aided by rogue officials whom we believe enabled them get clearance.
Shockingly, they had been cleared at all these security checks, until the ATPU officer insisted to have a look at their travel documents and contents of their luggage,” a top detective involved in the operation told us. Kenya Airports Authority security chief Eric Kiraithe said close scrutiny of the suspects’ passports indicated they had been in and out of the country on more than five occasions.
When contacted for comment, Head of ATPU Boniface Mwaniki declined to comment on whether investigations potentially points to terrorism links. Through a letter in our possession, Kenya Revenue Authority Deputy Commissioner in charge of Nairobi Customs Station Rose W. Gichira declared the seizure and recovery of the undeclared money to the Director Assets Recovery Agency and copied the same to the Office of the Attorney General.
“We wish to report the seizure of USD 348,000 confiscated today (October 8, 2013) at JKIA from three passengers who had been scheduled to fly East African Safaris Flight No 5B-1826 to Mogadishu, Somalia,” a letter from Customs Services Department Ref: NCS/EXP/1 read.
Officials from the Banking Fraud Investigations Department have already launched forensic investigations, including profiling serial numbers of the seized notes, to establish the source and point of dispatch of the money in question. Kiraithe said by telephone from Mombasa, where he was on duty, the arrest of the three was made by his team.
“One of my officers who was alert actually became suspicious of the manner in which the guys were behaving and decided to alert us. We cannot tell where the money was destined or for what purpose, but it is not normal for such amounts of cash to be carted out of the country, and in particular to a country like Somalia,” Kiraithe said.
Airport Police boss Joseph Ngisa said the three will be arraigned in court today for failing to declare the amount of cash in their possession and could be charged with money laundering. Ordinarily, before withdrawal of such an amount in any bank, a formal notification must be registered with the Central Bank of Kenya to avoid breaching prudential guidelines on money laundering.
“Foreign agents like FBI, Israel’s Mossad and M15 closely monitor direct wiring of cash and financial transaction to Somali banks. These agents have now eyed Kenya because of the flaws and deep-rooted corruption to facilitate these activities,” one of the security officers said. – By People Reporter
ICC says Uhuru not immune to trial
Updated Thursday, October 10th 2013 at 21:51 GMT +3
By FELIX OLICK at The Hague
The International Criminal Court ( ICC) has clarified that international law does not exempt a sitting president from prosecution.
ICCâ€™s warning comes a day after Foreign Affairs Cabinet secretary Amb Amina Mohamed implied that President Uhuru Kenyatta, as a sitting president is immune to prosecution.
In what appeared like a warning salvo to the countryâ€™s leadership, Court Registrar Herman von Hebel maintained that the Rome Statute is clear that there is no immunity for anyone including heads of states
â€œI donâ€™t think its right to say that a sitting president cannot sit in a trial,â€ Hebel pointed out before adding: â€œI have worked in the Yugoslav Tribunal where at one point the Prime Minister, an equivalent to the Head of State of Kosovo stepped down and had someone else take over the job and came to the Hague in order to face justice,â€ he told journalists on Wednesday evening.
On Wednesday, Ambassador Mohammed had said: â€œIt is going to be the first time a serving Head of State is brought before any court of any kind, not just here, but anywhere in the world, and I could challenge you to tell me in what place on earth a serving president has been brought before a court of justice.â€
But the Registrar added yesterday: â€œThe ICC statute itself makes it very clear that there is no immunity for anyone including heads of States.â€
This, even as it emerged that Deputy President William Ruto will be back in Nairobi to allow his boss to attend the African Union summit to discuss a possible united pullout from the ICC.
Court Registrar Herman von Hebel cautioned that attempts to pull out from the ICC founding treaty, the Rome Statute, would send the wrong signal about Africaâ€™s commitment to protect and promote human rights and reject impunity.
â€œThe court was established to fight impunity in order to bring justice to the victims,â€ he pointed out adding that victims of atrocities across the globe believe in the ICC process.
Hebel also answered Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed who appeared to suggest that President Kenyatta may not travel to The Hague when his trial starts on November 12.