The International Criminal Court is awaiting a report on government efforts to punish perpetrators of the 2008 post-election violence by the end of September before hastening its handling of the matter.
Human rights campaigners who held a meeting with ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo at The Hague on Friday said the body will spring into action immediately after the September 30 deadline.
“The ICC is anxious to see the government report,” Kenya National Commission on Human Rights vice-chairman Hassan Omar told a press conference at CVS Plaza in Nairobi on Saturday.
Mr Omar, Kenya Human Rights Commission programme officer Davis Malombe and International Centre for Policy and Conflict director Ndung’u Wainaina said the ICC has already covered substantial ground in analysing various communications from Kenyan sources.
“There is clear evidence serious crimes were committed but more evidence needs to be collected and corroborated to formally institute official investigation by the court,” the officials said in a statement. The officials, who also met ICC’s investigation and analysis division team, called for delineation and harmonisation of the work by ICC, the Special Tribunal and the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission.
They said Mr Moreno Ocampo was keen to visit Kenya and hold consultations with the government, civil society and victims of post-election violence. “This will be upon official invitation by the Kenya Government,” they said. The officials called on the African Union and international community to exert more pressure on the government to expeditiously act on perpetrators of the post-election violence.
During the meeting at The Hague, Mr Moreno Ocampo is said to have told the Kenyan delegation that President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga need to show more commitment in dealing with chaos perpetrators. He (Moreno Ocampo) is said to have likened the Kenyan situation to Colombia’s, saying the two countries had a history of impunity.
“He said the two countries have a similar pattern. Both have a judiciary and Attorney-General’s office which appear functional but they have so much impunity. In Colombia, a number of politicians and AG’s office have been implicated,” Mr Omar said.
Although Mr Moreno Ocampo is said to have told the delegation that delays in acting on perpetrators of violence in Kenya could erode public confidence, he had allowed Kenya some time to put its house in order.
The chief prosecutor said Kenya should enhance its efforts to ensure the violence does not recur and that people with illegal arms are disarmed. On Saturday, Mr Omar and his team said they would ask Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo to officially invite Mr Moreno Ocampo to Kenya.
Others who held a meeting with Mr Moreno Ocampo were International Commission of Jurists executive director George Kegoro and human rights campaigners Njonjo Mue and Mburu Gitu. Lands minister James Orengo held a private meeting with Mr Moreno Ocampo on Thursday before leaving for the UK.