Monday, August 1, 2011

Ruto led armed wing, Ocampo dossier says

Ms Elizabeth Wangui, who epitomised the pain suffered by violence victims, mourning in this 2008 picture, in front of the Kiambaa church in which more than 30 people were burnt alive. Mr Moreno-Ocampo's report describes how the attackers planned and executed the attack on the church. Photo/FILE

Ms Elizabeth Wangui, who epitomised the pain suffered by violence victims, mourning in this 2008 picture, in front of the Kiambaa church in which more than 30 people were burnt alive. Mr Moreno-Ocampo's report describes how the attackers planned and executed the attack on the church. Photo/FILE 

By BERNARD NAMUNANE bnamunane@ke.nationmedia.com

An elaborate three-tier network, with a military component, was behind the killings and attacks against civilians during the post-election violence in the Rift Valley, the latest evidence by International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo reveals.

He submits that the network was headed by suspended ministers William Ruto and Henry Kosgey, and raised funds, held meetings and directed attacks in Uasin Gishu and Nandi districts in which hundreds of people were killed.

Kass FM presenter Joshua Sang is depicted as the inciting mouth piece and fund-raiser through his radio programme.

He charges that Mr Ruto and Mr Kosgey led the network in preparing meetings, raising money to buy weapons (guns, grenades and ammunition), paying the perpetrators and rewarding them for every single PNU supporter killed.

It is part of the evidence that Mr Moreno-Ocampo on Monday handed over to the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber to support his accusation against the three over the violence that followed the disputed December 2007 presidential election results.

He had been asked by Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova to submit Documents Containing Charges (DCC) and List of Evidence against the three of the Ocampo Six suspects.

He will disclose evidence against deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Civil Service Head Francis Muthaura and Postmaster General Hussein Ali in two weeks.

The disclosure of detailed charges and evidence comes exactly a month before the hearings for confirmation of charges against Mr Ruto, Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang begin.

However, he concealed from the defence lawyers the full list of evidence (labelled as Annex B) he has collected and handed it only to the Pre-Trial Chamber judges warning that it contains “information of a sensitive nature not currently available to the public and/or which was obtained from confidential sources”.

In his charges, Mr Moreno-Ocampo submits that the network which planned, financed and executed the killings and attacks against PNU supporters had political, media, financial, tribal and military components.

The ICC prosecutor argues that Mr Ruto headed the political and military sections, while Mr Kosgey deputised and acted as the boss in his absence.

“The network had a military component consisting of former members of the Kenyan military and police. In 2007, the Military Component advised Ruto on logistics, obtained weapons, identified financial resources, and mobilised direct perpetrators.

“In 2006 and 2007, the Network also had a Military Structure that included three “Commanders” or “Generals” (Commanders), all of whom reported to Ruto or Kosgey,” he says.

He says that under Mr Ruto were three commanders in Nandi Hills, Central Rift and South Rift.

“Ruto was the head of the Military Component. Below Ruto, the three commanders led hierarchical organisations (hierarchies) in their respective geographical areas. Each hierarchy contained a horizontal layer of subordinates and direct perpetrators.

“Mr Sang, who is described as a vocal supporter of ODM, is said to have “encouraged and later coordinated the attacks through his broadcasts on Kass FM, which included use of predetermined (coded) language”.

The attackers targeted Turbo Town, which they said was inhabited mostly by Kikuyus and the greater Eldoret area (Kiambaa, Yamumbi, Huruma, Kimumu and Langas), Kapsabet Town, and Nandi Hills Town.

“The organisational policy of the network was to punish and expel from the Rift Valley those perceived to support PNU, namely, Kikuyu, Kamba and Kisii civilians; and to gain power and create a uniform ODM voting block,” the prosecutor says.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo also describes how the attackers planned and executed the attack on the Kenya Assemblies of God church in Kiambaa in which more than 30 people, including children, were killed.

“During the attack, perpetrators forced PNU supporters inside the Kiambaa Church. The perpetrators poured fuel on the Church and mattresses, which were used to block the doors.

“They then set the Church on fire, killing between 17 and 35 men, women, children, elderly, and the disabled trapped inside or attempting to flee.

“As those inside the church attempted to flee, attackers chased them, hacking to death those that they could catch,” he charges.

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