Kenya: Uphold Commitment to International Court


NAIROBI/NEW YORK, March 10, 2011—As a signatory to the Rome Statute, Kenya should continue to meet all of its obligations to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) said after the ICC issued summonses for the appearance of six individuals in relation to Kenya’s 2007-2008 post-election violence.

“This decision marks a momentous step in the fight against impunity and the quest for justice for victims of the violence,” said Suliman Baldo, director of ICTJ’s Africa Program. “This process should receive support from Kenya and must be allowed to proceed without political interference, remembering the individuals’ right to the full measures of procedural guarantees under domestic and international law,” he said.

On March 8, the Pre-Trial Chamber II issued summonses against the six individuals alleged to bear the greatest responsibility for crimes against humanity committed during the violence and ordered their appearance before the court on April 7, 2011.

The court’s action seeks to address impunity at the highest levels by holding accountable those with the greatest responsibility for crimes against humanity.

“The Kenyan government must remember that the international court’s intervention was necessitated by Kenya’s prolonged inaction to bring to book perpetrators of the violence,” said Njonjo Mue, head of ICTJ’s Kenya office. “Rather than expending its efforts seeking a deferral from the United Nations Security Council on this case, the government should focus its resources toward genuine and credible domestic investigation and prosecution of post-election violence crimes at all levels,” added Mue.


The ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, made an application requesting to initiate investigations into the Kenyan situation on his own motion in accordance with Article 15 of the Rome Statute on Nov. 26, 2009 citing a reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity had occurred in the context of the 2007–2008 post-election violence.

The ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II in a majority 2-1 decision authorized the prosecutor to commence investigations in Kenya on March 31, 2010. Following investigations, the prosecutor made an application before the ICC on Dec. 15, 2010 seeking summonses ordering six high-ranking individuals in Kenya to appear before the ICC.

Pre-Trial Chamber II issued the summonses this week following its finding of reasonable grounds to believe that Francis Muthaura and Uhuru Kenyatta implemented a common plan while Mohammed Hussein Ali intentionally contributed to the same plan to attack Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) supporters in Nakuru and Naivasha through Mungiki and the Kenya Police Force. The attacks resulted in murder, forcible transfer of populations, rape and other inhumane acts constituting crimes against humanity.

The court also found reasonable grounds to believe that William Ruto and Henry Kosgey implemented a common plan and Joshua Arap Sang intentionally contributed to the plan to attack Party of National Unity supporters in Uasin Gishu and Nandi Districts through a network of perpetrators consisting of eminent ODM political representatives, media representatives, former members of the Kenya Police and Army, Kalenjin elders and local leaders, resulting in murder, forcible transfer of population and persecution constituting crimes against humanity.

Through the summonses, the court has indicated the factual basis for the cases that it will bring, although there could still be amendments to the charges at later stages of the proceedings.

The six individuals will now be expected to appear before the court on April 7, 2011. They are also required to abide by the conditions outlined in the summonses to avoid intimidation of victims and witnesses and any commission of crimes. The International Crimes Act of Kenya also prohibits the obstruction of justice in any ICC proceedings.

About ICTJ

The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) works to redress and prevent the most severe violations of human rights by confronting legacies of mass abuse. ICTJ seeks holistic solutions to promote accountability and create just and peaceful societies. For more information, visit


Njonjo Mue Head, ICTJ Kenya Office Tel +254 20 387 7508/ 386 0201 Cell +254 721308911

Lisa Jamhoury Communications Associate Tel +1 917 637 3846