Majority of Kenyans want ICC intervention in post-election chaos: AU

09:31, May 26, 2011      

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The majority of Kenyans are happy with the International Criminal Court (ICC) intervention in the country's post-election chaos which killed at least 1,300 people and displaced 650,000 others in 2008.

According to a report published by the Africa Union's Panel of Eminent African Personalities which brokered the political settlement in Kenya after the disputed elections, the vast majority of Kenyans wanted other perpetrators of violence tried. The report noted that 78 percent of the public are happy with the ICC intervention. "On the ICC and the post-election violence, the report found that the personalization and politicization 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," the report says.

The report was released after the Dialogue Team of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation (KNDR) held its eighth review meeting in Nairobi on Wednesday on the status of implementation of the KNDR agreements.

The meeting discussed the findings of a report prepared by South Consulting -- the research firm designated by the Panel of Eminent African Personalities to undertake independent monitoring and evaluation of the implementation process.

The focus of the report was the ICC process, cohesion within the government and the implementation of the new constitution.

The report concluded that while the ICC process had introduced certain challenges, it was also an important opportunity for reforms. "The process was laying the framework for fighting impunity and ensuring that leaders account for their actions," it says.

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," the report says.

On cohesion within the government, the report found that the fault lines within the Cabinet continue to recur and that the image of a divided government has not been effectively addressed, as these differences continue to be reflected in key decisions.

The report noted that a majority of Kenyans believed the Coalition had difficulty in working together to implement the Constitution, however, their desire remains for the Coalition to remain until the next general election.

On the Constitution, the 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.

The report emphasized the linkage between implementation of the new Constitution and the prospect of resolving issues that would potentially lead to another conflict, including the collection of issues under Agenda Item Four of the mediation process.

The Dialogue Team,who agreed that the next meeting would be held in July, reaffirmed the need to maintain focus on implementing the KNDR agreements even as the implementation of the Constitution remains underway.

The AU Panel of Eminent African Personalities is chaired by former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan. The other members of the panel are Benjamin Mkapa, former president of Tanzania, and Gra'a Machel of Mozambique.

Source: Xinhua
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