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Parties ask ICC to disclose violence suspects

Friday July 10 2009

Centre for Multiparty Democracy chairman Professor Larry Gumbe addresses a media briefing at a La Mada Hotel in Nairobi where he called for the disclosure of the names in the Waki envelope. Photo/HEZRON NJOROGE

Centre for Multiparty Democracy chairman Professor Larry Gumbe addresses a media briefing at a La Mada Hotel in Nairobi where he called for the disclosure of the names in the Waki envelope. Photo/HEZRON NJOROGE 

By LUCAS BARASA

Political parties have asked the International Criminal Court to make public the names of suspected perpetrators of the 2008 post election violence.

Applauding chief mediator Kofi Annan for handing over an envelope containing the names of suspects to ICC, the 40 or so registered parties said it was time the culprits were disclosed.

"ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo should open the envelope immediately. We need to know the suspects," Centre for Multi-Party Democracy chairman Larry Gumbe said after a meeting of the parties at La Mada Hotel in Nairobi.

CMD-Kenya works to build the capacity and organisational structure of political parties as a way of underpinning democracy and human rights.

The parties said that even as the ICC investigates the post-election skirmishes, a local tribunal should be formed to deal with "medium and small fish."

"The Hague option is particularly suited for the big suspected perpetrators," Prof Gumbe, who read a statement on behalf of the parties, said.

Heal the nation

A Truth, Justice and Reconciliation process, they added, should also be established to "heal the nation as delivery of justice alone will not guarantee the future of the Kenyan nation."

The parties further called on the Interim Independent Electoral Commission to prepare for the possibility of an election if top leaders in the country are affected by the ICC investigations.

"The Kenyan people must prepare for the possibility of an election hence the need of the IIEC to put in place an accurate voters register to enable voters to exercise their rights in the event that they are called to do so," the statement said.

The parties said it is crucial that the country decisively deals with the issue of post election violence "so that the country moves on to other pressing national issues."

"The issue of post election violence must be dealt with in a fair and just manner. This means that suspected perpetrators must be brought to justice. The culture of impunity which has characterised the country for so long must be brought to an end," they said.

Emulate Rwanda

The parties said Kenya should emulate Rwanda, which tried its top genocide suspects in Arusha but still ensured other perpetrators also faced local courts and the traditional justice system.

They called on MPs to take the formation of a local tribunal seriously "otherwise it will lead to collapse of governance system and recurrence of violence."

They also called for full implementation of the Waki report, which called for changes in the Judiciary, police among others.