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ICC politics hindrance to reform, says Annan

Wednesday May 25 2011

Chair of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities Kofi Annan. The Panel said the politicisation of the International Criminal Court process in Kenya is a hindrance to the reform agenda May 25, 2011. FILE

Chair of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities Kofi Annan. The Panel said the politicisation of the International Criminal Court process in Kenya is a hindrance to the reform agenda May 25, 2011. FILE 

By NATION Reporter

The politicisation of the International Criminal Court process in Kenya is a hindrance to the reform agenda.

The Panel of Eminent African Personalities said in a statement Wednesday that the six post election violence suspects had personalised the process, which does not augur well for the country.

These were some of the findings of a report authored by South Consulting – the research firm designated by the Panel to undertake independent monitoring and evaluation of the implementation process.

"On the ICC and the post-election violence, the South report found that the personalisation and politicisation of the ICC process had obscured dialogue on reforms that would prevent future violence and the need to find justice for the victims, including IDPs," said the statement.

The report focused on the ICC process; cohesion within government and the implementation of the new Constitution.

"The South report noted that 78% of the public are happy with the ICC intervention. The report also noted, however, that the vast majority of Kenyans wanted other perpetrators of violence tried."

It concluded that the ICC process was an important opportunity for reforms. The process was laying the framework for fighting impunity and ensuring that leaders account for their actions.

The Panel, during its eighth review meeting on the status of implementation of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation (KNDR) agreements, also noted that the Hague trials for the Ocampo Six were meant to ensure that there would be no recurrence of electoral violence and not targeted at communities or individuals.

"The report noted that the naming of suspects had evolved discourses in which some communities claim to be under siege. It was therefore important to recall that the ICC process was not aimed at communities but at fighting impunity and getting justice for the victims of the post-election violence," said the Panel chaired by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.

On cohesion in government, the South report found that division in Cabinet continue to create an image of a divided government that is reflected in key decisions.

However, most Kenyans want the coalition government to hold together until the next polls to oversee the implementation of the new Constitution.

On the Constitution, the South report noted several challenges to implementation.

"The report found that there was little public debate and dialogue on major policy issues, and that with an absence of civic education, there was insufficient widespread discussion on issues affecting implementation," said the Panel.