Kenya to cooperate with ICC on unrest trials

Kenya will cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) to try key suspects behind unrest after the country’s bitterly disputed December 2007 presidential election, a top minister said.

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo told reporters Thursday he welcomed the ICC decision to prosecute masterminds of the violence after Nairobi failed to meet a September 30 deadline to come up with measures on how to deal with the suspects in Kenya.

“The government will cooperate with the ICC,” he said.

On Wednesay the ICC announced that it will prosecute “those most responsible” for the violence in which about 1 500 people died and hundreds of thousands were displaced.

“I welcome his very intelligent proposals and accept that Kenya should offer leadership to the world on how to deal with violence,” Kilonzo added.

Kenya’s parliament this year rejected a bill to set up a local tribunal on grounds that it would be prone to political interference, thwarting a key recommendation of a commission probing the unrest.

Former United Nations chief Kofi Annan, who brokered an end to Kenya’s bloodiest post-independence violence, handed the ICC names of top suspects in July.

The list, which has not been made public, is believed to include top government officials.—AFP

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